The Unofficial Intel Blog

Poking the beehive with a stick

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Giving the finger

Mmmmm... comments show pointing fingers all around. The tenth commenter doesn't seem to understand that marketing drives many if not most of the product decisions. Engineering teams deliver what they are told to. Sometimes they do this on time and other times not.

Ask any design manager what the biggest roadblock to increased design efficiency is and they will answer roadmap churn. Many failed projects are due to not thinking hard enough at the beginning, or by thinking for too long and not deciding ... ever.

For a good perspective on how this stuff works, you could probably do worse then googling for Bob Colwell. He is a bit hyperbolic, but certainly entertaining and for the most part accurate.

As for the role of IT or HR in this, I just don't know enough to throw stones accurately. It just seems to me that everyone in IT except for 5 or 6 people who actually write code is a manager. I can't see how that would be a good idea. HR is a black hole. Throwing anything is bound to end up hitting it.

Anyway, in tough times the people in the lifeboats should paddle together instead of sizing up how tender the liver of another may be. Let's all just get along, and pass me the Chianti.


At September 23, 2006 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right about Marketing but this shouldn't be soley driven by Marketing. Engineering should be 50% of the roadmap. Classic example, "Viiv" and the tens of millions still being dumped into it.

At September 23, 2006 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. To a point. If you are not part of the solution for Intel, you might be part of the problem. Who is part of what, and who gets to judge that, and what is the criteria that is being used to decide?

At September 23, 2006 4:37 PM, Blogger Intel IT Guy said...

No question IT was got far too large after they merged IT and eBusiness into one group. Huge overhead, and teams delivering products that their internal customers largely don't want. But a lot of what IT does is must have, and I think most of that stuff runs pretty well. The discretionary IT work needs a serious overall.

I know a lot of hard working people in HR. It's a troubled org, and I'm not sure why. The most unhappy and unhealthy people I know at Intel are in HR. Whether those people move to the org or the become that way once they get there, I can't say.

At September 26, 2006 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suggestion-- add pictures to your blog. It makes it more interesting and adds dimension. Many free pictures at google search (select images tab).

At September 26, 2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is/was IT too big? Probably, but I'd like to see Intel operate for more than an hour without networks, phones, PC's, servers or applications. The problems in IT in any company arise out of trying to be everything to every internal customer. Trying to develop and maintain x hundred custom services isn't practical or sustainable and often leads to noone being satisfied.

At September 26, 2006 11:16 AM, Blogger PentrinoVI said...

People don't like IT when it does bad things.

Perhaps the example people are most familiar with is Jobs Online. When the PeopleSoft app replaced it, many essential functions were removed. Managers couldn't even look at the req's that THEY had posted and for those looking for jobs, the search capabilities were much more limited.

People don't like IT when it doesn't do things. Example: Circuit search. It was broken for years. Nothing happened. Example2: 32MB mailboxes.

Of course IT finally addressed the search problem with a google box, but because it exposed so many secrets and confidentials, they switched most of the functionality off, making it almost as ineffective as the original search.

As for networks and phones, don't we outsource most of that support anyway?

There are some good things IT does, but I wonder about their priorities and their failures to anticipate.

As for putting pictures in the blog, well, I'm a text guy who frowns on stealing images from the web. Maybe someone else can make a One Digital Day blog and put pictures up.

At September 27, 2006 9:25 AM, Blogger sactoheath said...

I agree with a previous comment that some of the most unhappy, unhealthy, and other, people are in HR, and I know because I used to be one of them.

Having always been in IT (or eBG) in my nearly 11 years here, I can say that we have gotten much too large...however, it's a generalization. My particular area has done a great job of making sure we're balanced with just enough managers (you know that whole spans/levels thing we all love) well as, the managers actually do quite a bit of work, running working groups, virtual competency centers, planning knowledge shares, long range planning, infrasturcture roadmaps, environment management, etc.

There are unhealthy areas in any division, and hopefully part of this efficiency effort really does target those...however, I haven't seen it happen yet.

At October 02, 2006 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Marketing drives many if not most of the product decisions"?

Gimme a break. Execs make all the decisions. Marketing is just the whipping boy for the engineers, and everyone else. It's marketing that was asked to market the abortion that was Netburst architecture. And before you say "Marketing asked for frequency, frequency, frequency" it's the execs that were most concerned about the PR race, the race to 1GHz, the DOA 1.1 GHz part, race to 2GHz, etc etc etc. Marketing is no more to blame than engineering.

Since Barett took over, Intel has become a tops down company. The peons aren't listened to, the execs don't want to hear no, they don't want to be corrected, and they SURE AS HELL don't want to renege on a product launch date they preannounced 9 months earlier (when of course marketing told him NOT to do this as it's in general a bad idea).

Prescott and Viiv are the 2 best examples. Driven by exec egos, not good corporate decisions.

And cutting 1000 manager, selling to Marvel, and cutting IT, Marketing and HR is going to fix that?

Wait, what?

At October 03, 2006 4:27 PM, Blogger PentrinoVI said...

October 2 Anon,

Guess it depends where you are sitting. Don't forget that some Exec's are marketing guys.

But I'd grant you that CPU's are probably influenced less by marketing than other groups are.

At October 04, 2006 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's agree that when I say "execs make the decisions" we're talking the folks listed as "Intel execs" on Intel homepage. Fair?

There's one marketing person there. One. Many sales guys, lots o engineers, a couple finance guys, a few lawyers. One Marketing guy. And he's not running marketing anymore.

Coming up next on Fox, the new reality show sweeping the nation "When Engineers Do Marketing".

At October 05, 2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it, some of the top execs are not that technical (one even doesn't have an engineering degree, at any level). And it's the marketing people feeding the execs the wrong information.

At October 06, 2006 2:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets worse in the geographies - Where im sat, the axe is yet to fall - but amazingly word is that all of the 'marketing management' seem to be either staying in place, or getting new jobs.... yet its these guys (most 20yr+ service) that are causing the damage. Most (not all) still think we are in the same business we were in 10-15 years ago - and they cant be more wrong. The org is full of new breed talent that could really change things if given the opportunity... but they just dont seem to exist. If you give the firing decisions to these managers, of course they wont fire themselves.. I expected more from Maloney and paul to be honest.... very dissapointed.

At October 06, 2006 12:38 PM, Anonymous Graylishisawateofspace said...

It's not a surprise to me to see the same old has-beens clinging onto their former glory like a protective blanket.

In emea we have a tough, politically savvy cadre of them, all of whom without exception are universally derided for their inability to accept that they are the major culprits for the mess we find ourselves in.

They know who they are, we all know who they are, the mystery here is why the board allows this incompetent group to continue with their unbending stupidity.

We are in a mess entirely of our own making, and instead of taking responsibility and being visible, they have disappeared into their warrens and are already pointing the finger at the fab/Ho etc etc. To listen to them is truly demotivating, the BS they are currently spouting to any poor individual cornered and forced to listen to their self-justifying nonsense encapsulates almost everything wrong about us you could list.

Please Paul, if you read this, rid us of these over the hill incompetents!

At October 09, 2006 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you expect anything more from Sean Baloney you're fooling yourself. The is a dishonest, talentless, wanna-be, double-speak generator--nothing more.


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