Degrading Performance

Lets start with Machiavellian Lens that are even by name close to management.

Original description of the pattern says:

Can you degrade the performance of a product or system until users comply with some behaviour change you want?

And illustrated by:

Some Nokia phones allegedly sense when a 3rd-party battery is used and switch into a high-power mode so it runs out more quickly.

If we switch to managerial topics this is the pattern that can be used to adjust the behavior of people you work with.

For example you want your team to work on their own. You trust your guys and they are able to do the job themselves. However, historically you are the one who makes decisions and drives the process.

Classical management says – delegate! Brilliant suggestion. The only question is left: How? And here goes the mentioned pattern. Just degrade your performance. They’ll have to start doing the job themselves.

Your can work visibly slow or become unavailable on irregular basis. So, there is no one to decide and the team has to rebuild the process naturally to eliminate the bottleneck. It is up to you to define how exactly you change you performance to force the change. Each situation is unique and you should act accordingly.

Disclaimer: I do understand that from the point of view of classical management this approach sounds ridiculous. But it works. That is one of my favorite patterns of delegation implementation. Add this weapon to your armory. Your can be blamed for bad performance but no one will blame you for bad performance as a tool.

Inspired by:


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