Putt’s Law, Peter Principle, Dilbert Principle of Incompetence & Parkinson's Law

Putt’s Law, Peter Principle, Dilbert Principle of Incompetence & Parkinson's Law
I am a big fan of Scott Adams & Dilbert Comic Series.
I realize that these laws and principles - the Putt’s law, Peter Principle, the Dilbert Principle, and Parkinson's Law - aren't necessarily founded in reality. It's easy to look at a manager's closed doors and wonder he or she does all day, if anything. But having said that and having come to realize the difficulty and scope of what management entails. It's hard work and requires a certain skill-set that I'm only beginning to develop. One should therefore look at these principles and laws with an acknowledgment that they most likely developed from the employee's perspective, not the manager’s. Take with a pinch of salt!
Source: Google Images
The Putt’s law:
·         Putt's Law: "Technology is dominated by two types of people:  those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand."
·         Putt's Corollary: "Every technical hierarchy, in time, develops a competence inversion." with incompetence being "flushed out of the lower levels" of a technocratic hierarchy, ensuring that technically competent people remain directly in charge of the actual technology while those without technical competence move into management.
The Peter Principle:
The Peter Principle states that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." In other words, employees who perform their roles with competence are promoted into successively higher levels until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent. There they remain.
For example, let's say you are a brilliant programmer. You spend your days coding with amazing efficiency and prowess. After a couple of years, you're promoted to lead programmer, and then promoted to team manager. You may have no interest in managing other programmers, but it's the reward for your competence. There you sit -- you have risen to a level of incompetence. Your technical skills lie dormant while you fill your day with one-on-one meetings, department strategy meetings, planning meetings, budgets, and reports.
The Dilbert Principle
The principle states that companies tend to promote the most incompetent employees to management as a form of damage control. The principle argues that leaders, specifically those in middle management, are in reality the ones that have little effect on productivity. In order to limit the harm caused by incompetent employees who are actually not doing the work, companies make them leaders. 
The Dilbert Principle assumes that “the majority of real, productive work in a company is done by people lower in the power ladder." Those in management don't actually do anything to move forward the work.
How it happens?
The Incompetent Leader Stereotype often hits new leaders, specifically those who have no prior experience in a particular field. Often times, leaders who have been transferred from other departments are viewed as mere figureheads, rather than actual leaders who have knowledge of the work situation.   Failure to prove technical capability can also lead to a leader being branded incompetent.
Why it’s bad?
 Being a victim of the incompetent leader stereotype is bad. Firstly, no one takes you seriously. Your ability to insert input into projects is hampered when your followers actively disregard anything you say as fluff. This is especially true if you are in middle management, where your power as a leader is limited.   Secondly, your chances of rising ranks are curtailed. If viewed as an incompetent leader by your followers, your superiors are unlikely to entrust you with further projects which have more impact.  
How to get over it 
Know when to concede. As a leader, no one expects you to be competent in every area; though basic knowledge of every section you are leading is necessary. Readily admitting incompetency in certain areas will take out the impact out of it when others paint you as incompetent.   Prove competency somewhere. Quickly establish yourself as having some purpose in the workplace, rather than being a mere picture of tokenism. This can be done by personally involving yourself in certain projects.
Parkinson's Law
Parkinson's Law states that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Although this law has application with procrastination, storage capacity, and resource usage, Parkinson focuses his law on Corporate lethargy. Parkinson says that lethargy swell for two reasons:
(1) "A manager wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals" and (2) "Managers make work for each other."
In other words, a team size may swell not because the workload increases, but because they have the capacity and resources that allow for an increased workload even if the workload does not in fact increase. People without any work find ways to increase the amount of "work" and therefore add to the size of their lethargy.
My Analysis
I know none of these principles or laws gives much credit to management. The wrong person fills the wrong role, the role exists only to minimize damage control, or the role swells unnecessarily simply because it can.
I find the whole topic of management somewhat fascinating, not because I think these theories apply to my own managers.
These management theories are however relevant. Software coders looking to leverage coding talent for their projects often find themselves in management roles, without a strong understanding of how to manage people. Most of the time, these coders fail to engage. The project leaders are usually brilliant at their technical job but don't excel at management.

However the key principle to follow should be this: put individuals to work in their core competencies. It makes little sense to take your most brilliant engineer and have him or her manage people and budgets. Likewise, it makes no sense to take a shrewd consultant, one who can negotiate projects and requirements down to the minutest detail, and put that individual into a role involving creative design and content generation. However, to implement this model, you have to allow for reward without a dramatic change in job responsibilities or skills.


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