This is the final reflection for the course. This will first cover the topics that the last third of the book covered and then I’m talking about what I learned from the book as a whole. One of the first topics covered in the last part of the book is that some projects often skip the design process. Well, design will be done, but when implementation comes around, the programmers will just not look at the design and design as they code, which can lead to a high number of bugs. It’s also discussed that sometimes it’s better to just do design for a long time, try to get the best design possible and that design should be easily transferable to code. Then you can do last minute implementation and end up with few to no bugs. The problem with this in the context of the book is that the teams were overstaffed and design is a process which will not be sped up by adding more people, it might even slow down. When coding, more people can often reduce time. A dynamic team size throughout the project’s lifespan is the best way of doing it. Personally I think this is true, design is difficult to do with a lot of people, you have to communicate with many others when doing something that the time that you actually spend doing design decreases.
Another topic that is covered by the book is the size of meetings and the way meetings should be carried out. A meeting agenda must be defined beforehand. Not all meetings are relevant for all people, so having someone in a meeting that serves no purpose to them is only wasting their time. It’s also mentioned that there are some steps to take when starting a meeting. This includes making someone leave the meeting. This someone must be the person whose time you value the most. I agree with all of these, the main point of this is not wasting people’s time, you want them to be working if there’s no purpose in them being in the meeting. Also, the best thing in the book happens during this part, Belok is out, he isn’t coming back. Lahksa gave him herpes (through his drink). Everything is going well at that point.
After that, everything seems to be coming together. All the projects are finished and NNL came back. Tompkins had no intention of staying in Morovia and was leaving with his new fortune. Belok made one last appearance, but thankfully Tompkins handled it. Finally, the book ends with Tompkins going to Latvia and becoming its NNL along with Lahksa. They will be married in the future and the book ends.
Overall, the book was a lot more interesting than I initially thought it would be. I thought it was going to be like a textbook about management, but that wasn’t the case. It had a good mix of characters and story along with lessons about what management is. It was informative while never being too boring. Some of the main ideas that stick out to me is that management is about people and not about numbers and reading emails, more people isn’t equal to more work being done, and being less strict will actually increase productivity. I think this course along with this book gave me a good understanding of what management really is and the different ways to be a good manager.
Now I’m going to talk a bit about my thoughts on the whole COVID-19 situation. The world is very hectic right now due to the virus. The virus will most definitely have a permanent impact on the world. The post-covid world will be very different from the world pre-covid. The most obvious change is the work from home mentality. I think a lot of companies will change their opinion on the topic after the pandemic is over. They now know that working from home is effective and works. This can lead to companies either becoming fully work from home or a hybrid model. This can have a huge impact on the way teams are managed. Working from home just screams flexibility so managers will have to learn to be more flexible. The most prominent example is in more flexible working hours, this doesn’t necessarily mean working less hours, but you can divide the hours as you see fit, maybe you work more efficiently at night and this model can let you work at night. All in all, there are lots of things to adapt to, especially for managers.
Overall, this was a useful course. Management is something that many of us will probably have to deal with later in life. Even if you want to code, eventually you will want to move up to a management position, this is why this course can be so helpful. This course teaches you that management isn’t as clear-cut as just reading emails or punching in numbers in a calculator. Management is about people primarily and this course did a good job at teaching that.