The vicious circle of inefficiency

During my work I have often experienced that on tough projects, if things start going wrong, they very soon fall into a self propagating spiral. The spiral makes its causes stronger causing it to become more steep as it progresses.

Here is the scenario that is almost a norm in non performing teams or in teams with new members.

The work doesn't get done - The manager gets mad - Forces people to overwork - People get exhausted - they are not left with time and energy to learn - kills any chances of improving their skills to make them more efficient.

In the end the team spends the maximum possible time on their work but the amount that gets done is generally disproportionate to the effort and then the whole phase of apathy comes in when nobody cares about anything anymore. You just have people blaming each other for the situation (more commonly management v/s leads v/s developers).

So that was the problem part and I feel the whole responsibility for this should be taken by the management because they generally have greater power to change the situation. The biggest precondition for that to happen will be acknowledging the problem. Few points which I think would work and should be considered:
- One who has the power to change are the only ones who can be held responsible
- If a team is not performing, it is not team's fault. They are just in a wrong place
- Either improve them or remove them.
- Removal should happen only if there is no chance of growing people. If there are worthy candidates invest time to nurture them
- If the management cannot improve anything though they acknowledge the issue, they should step down/out
- If the management cannot improve anything and don't acknowledge the issue, they should be removed. There has to be someone who should be able to see the problem. If not, then the problem is probably not real

I am pretty sure the list is far from complete and it was never meant to be.

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