Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’


A harmful evaluation process is finally ending at Microsoft

November 14, 2013

Ding-dong, the brutally unfair “stack ranking” process is dead at Microsoft. The company announced┬áthat it would be using different methods of evaluating employees. As this NY Times piece notes, not only did this process discourage some recruits from joining the company, it also kicked out plenty of good employees.

The central flawed assumption behind stack ranking is that it assumes that 20% of your workforce is always doing an unacceptable job. It’s comparing employees to each other instead of to clear, measurable performance standards. It’s the opposite of the “Lake Wobegon Syndrome,” where “every kid is above average.” How many very good employees lost their job because, well, somebody’s got to be at the bottom of the pile? How incredibly sad to have to push potential out your door.

Another heart-breaking part of this: star employees not wanting to work together because only so many people get to be at the top of each manager’s rankings. Could Microsoft’s dearest rivals have concocted a shrewder policy: don’t let your sharpest people collaborate! I am delighted to hear that stack ranking is on its way out.


Bully for Apple, but …

October 23, 2007

There's a lot of attention being given to Apple's latest quarterly sales results, (here for Salon and here for the NY Times, for two examples) and for good reason. They are doing very well and are up there near the HP/Dell behemoths in US computer sales. I've owned Macs for twenty years, so I am pleased to learn of this growth.

Reasons given include a "halo effect" from all those happy iPod and iPhone owners, but no one appears to want to give Windows any credit. Is it just a coincidence that Apple's recent success also came just as it created Boot Camp, which allows Mac-lovers who have to run Windows for work applications to have both OSes on one machine?

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Upgrade Day

August 22, 2007

I have spent very few days feeling like the hours got used up for nothing and I'll never get them back. Today was one such day. My fellow Vervagoans Lee and Wendy drove up from Atlanta so we could upgrade our Vaios to Vista and Office 2007. We're now at 13 hours and I am done. Problems with One Care, problems with Sony software, but all is well. Tomorrow I hope to feel productive and to test out some of the new buzzers and whistles.

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