(Controlling the Timing and Content of What You Do)
Rule 1 – Monkeys should be fed or shot. Otherwise, they will starve to death and the manager will waste valuable time on postmortems or attempted resurrections.
Rule 2 – The monkey population should be kept below the maximum number the manager has time to feed. Subordinates will find time to work as many monkeys as the manager finds time to feed, but no more. It shouldn’t take more than 5 to 15 minutes to feed a properly prepared monkey.
Rule 3 – Monkeys should be fed by appointment only. The manager should not have to be hunting down starving monkeys and feeding them on a catch-as-catch-can basis.
Rule 4 – Monkeys should be fed face-to-face or by telephone, but never by email. (If by email, the next move will be the manager’s, remember?) Documentation may add to the feeding process, but it cannot take the place of feeding.
Rule 5 – Every monkey should have an assigned next feeding time and degree of initiative. These may be revised at any time by mutual consent, but never allowed to become vague or indefinite. Otherwise, the monkey will either starve to death or wind up on the manager’s back.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
~ Winston Churchill ~