Sunday, October 14, 2012

Microsoft's Downfall - Stack Ranking?

Vanity Fair had a very interesting article on "Microsoft's Lost Decade" and blames a lot of it on stank ranking.

"Eichenwald’s conversations reveal that a management system known as “stack ranking”—a program that forces every unit to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good performers, average, and poor—effectively crippled Microsoft’s ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”

1 comment:

  1. We had that system at Lockheed Martin.
    Hated it.
    It was awful for managers too.
    I remember sitting in "totem pole" meetings arguing with other managers about whose subordinates were the most superhuman. It became a referendum on the political skills of the managers, not the performance of the employees.