Monday, August 3, 2009

The "P" Effect

It’s going to be two years in my present company soon but feels like yesterday. The first day went very fast and pleasant. Introductions, formal “hellos”, casual jokes, welcome mails and a joining lunch treat by one of the team members. I replied to the welcome mails that came from my manager, VP and the senior VP, Mr. P – his signature in office mails.

One of the team members enquired if I heard from P, to which I nodded. What followed after that was a 15 minutes introduction of P who is a demigod in the company. Sure he is - a prodigy, who knows how to run a show successfully. The India office witnesses a flurry of activities every time he visits, which is too frequent.

It is impressive to know that he acknowledges everyone by name and enquires about personal tidbits of oldies in the company, talks about cricket nonchalantly over a cup of coffee, pulls a fast one on others or entertains us by making himself the butt of jokes.

On the professional front, he talks about why the code is complicated, why the SQL query is unnecessarily lengthy, why is the architecture not scalable, where is the deployment going wrong, what requirements are missed in the FSDs, how can the user interface be improved and what should be the documentation approach.

He is awe-inspiring, but it also resulted in intellectual disparity between him and the rest of the organization. Even an intellectual is capable of making mistakes if he doesn’t have the check points regularly. The outcome could be monopoly and chaos, which can spell disaster. There were times when plans had to be altered at the 11th hour, his casual comments and feedback kept most on tenterhooks. Everyone is panting to meet his expectations round the clock. Ironically even I am one among them who is gasping for breath. Obviously, I can’t have my way and stay out to watch the whole act being enacted again and again! It was not surprising when P’s “foresight” took precedence over customer deliverables. There had been rumors that friends turned foe when they came to work for him and finally bowed out.

He is standing alone in the arena, with no real contenders to challenge him. If somebody of his caliber and intellect comes onboard then it would be no less than watching Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged unfold. Till then it’s going to be the “P” effect here.