I have found this little gem in PragPub, May 2011:
A depressing theme with many of today’s software shops is the need to only make two kinds of hires. The first is a developer. After all, a developer codes, and that makes money! The second hire is an MBA-style manager. This manager is an HR-type who handles budgets, spreadsheets, and politics.
Then someone like me comes along. I’ve got a development background and I’ve managed as well, but today I don’t do either. Instead I work with a team to see where the problems are. I sit with them and look for the areas that have become blind spots, and then find ways to solve those problems. I’ve saved large organizations substantial amounts of money by improving how their teams work. But I’ve usually done this by hiring in as a developer or manager. It’s a rare company that hires someone to improve their process. They’d much rather sit in the trenches and inspire their soldiers to leap out in the face of concertina wire and machine guns, sure that with the right mix of courage and moral fiber, this time they’ll finally ship that product!
As we look around, this attitude seems so… stupid. They seem to think that by trying harder they’ll succeed. How many of our favorite sports teams don’t have coaches, but ask their professional athletes to try harder?
From “Is Your Software Project in the Trenches?” by Jared Richardson