Friday, June 29, 2007

Pieces Don't Fit Anymore - follow-up

The last post generated a relatively high number of comments, and I want to address a few of them. Someone made the point that employee blogs don't contribute to productivity. As measured by what? I have no idea if my blog helps productivity, but I like to think that it isn't hurting any. I'm fairly sure that Jeff M's internal blog adds a lot to productivity. At the bottom of a previous post I mention why speaking out can help. If people feel some empathy from others, or have an opportunity to vent, or realize that they're not alone, how can that not help? I can't speak for this blog, but I know other blogs have had an impact on management decisions and communication. If people feel that someone else is speaking out and it makes them feel better, how can that not be good morale, and therefore good for productivity?

I found it almost quaint that one commenter seems to think that IT is around to fix laptops. There's no point in me trying to defend the role IT plays, or to compare the value of IT to Intel manufacturing. IT is a pure cost center, and needs to be run as efficiently as possible. If you don't get why losing people at the top of the performance and skill set pool is bad for Intel, then I can't explain it to you. There actually will be impact beyond getting your laptop fixed.

The only comment I considered blatantly incorrect was the one stating that employees with over 10 years experience add less value and don't have good ideas. No doubt there is some dead wood at Intel, but if you've been there more than a couple of years, it should be obvious that length of tenure is not a factor in focal. Everyone is required to be competitive. There are a few places people can hide for a while, but the process is fairly good at eventually identifying below average performers. One indicator of innovation at Intel is invention disclosures and patents. Go take a look at correlation between patents and tenure, and then get back to me on the lack of fresh ideas from experienced employees.

And then there was the commenter who wrote:

It's damn annoying to keep reading complaint after complaint from those in a service organization lamenting about how hard they have it. What, not enough time to work on your level 32 Dork-Wizard on World of Warcraft?

which I found quite funny. He also pointed out IT people are expendable. True. But he may want to consider that, like all Intel employees, he is expendable as well.


Intel Software Solutions Guy said...

This whole "Intel would go bankrupt if I stop working for 32 seconds and everyone else is expendable" routine is just a defense mechanism. People like to think that they are especially important in the big picture.

IT does a bit more than fixing laptops. For instance, you know that cool new report you just sent to your manager by e-mail? It went through a whole infrastructure maintained by IT.

And anyway, I don't think of this blog as specific to IT people, but to Intel people in general.

I work in the field -- although I am officially considered factory -- and I probably have different issues with Intel than the "Intel IT Guy" and thus I wish there was a way to get other people to use this blog to place their issues and solutions. It would be cool to have a "Intel Capital Laywer Guy", a "Intel SMG Guy" and a "Intel CEO Guy" all posting here.

Unfortunately, there's no way without some people knowing who the others are, which would remove the honesty that comes with being hidden behind anonymity.

Anonymous said...

I'm a blue badge working for mfg. We absolutely depend on computing to get things done. When my computer doesn't work, I cant get data, I cant generate reports and I can't communicate. I'm all for "better IT" than "lets cut back on IT".
I wish the IT guys were blue badges. I think I would get more support and more interest from them in making sure my equipment works. Since their bonus would be in play too. I also wish I had an IT guy that reported to my department could just deal with this stuff, so i didn't need to call the 1234 and hope the person on the other end knows more than reading from a FAQ.

Anonymous said...

I think that the IT Guy is right. There is no where to hide at Intel. If you are not doing your job correctly, eventually you will be found out and like any bad apple, you will be turned out. That is life. The good rise, keep moving forward, keep being contributing members of the Intel community. And IT, correctly stated, is so much more than fixing laptops. Look around. How many people does it take to keep up and running? What would happen to you if you could not hit your servers to do your jobs. Who would you be turning to fix it, especially if you successfully rallied for off shoring all of IT? In a follow the sun company like Intel, is that time that you could afford to wait for repairs? The people that fix your servers are here. Now. In real time. In person, if need be. They are the people that you for the most part never see, but I bet you are grateful that they keep your processes running.

And I agree with the comment from the PTD writer. I know all about the PTD group. They are a high intensity group and deserve much respect from Intel. They are among the hardest working group of people making the next generation of products. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

I'm an engineer in one of the "hot" design groups at Intel which is planning on making headcount reductions, but trying to do so with anticipated attrition. In order to enforce the reduced headcount, we are not allowed to back-fill the open positions after people leave. Has anybody ever heard of such a plan being successful at Intel or elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Well I certainly understand the value of IT. What I don't understand are the folks that believe that those who do a good job at Intel move "up" and "forward". Or that focal in any way measures your value or what you've done. Internal politics plays a bigger role in moving "up" or "forward" and always has. Don't believe it? Check out Dr. Faggin's site: for how he was rewarded for his major contributions to the 4004.