No worse manager than a human resource manager

There are managers and there are leaders. And there are human resource managers. Managers organize the work by setting targets, getting the resources and coordinating the activities. Leaders give direction to a vision and strategies, providing the energy to a team to reach the targets and to overcome obstacles.

Human resource managers are a special breed. In fact, they are providers of resources, just liking a hosting company is a provider of diskspace and internet bandwidth (computer resources). For HRMs the resources happen to be humans. HRMs do not manage humans like real managers do, they provide resources. HRMs have power over their resources, because they have the authority of hiring and firing, they do the evaluation (not based on their own experience with the humans they “manage”) and they claim to have better human skills than any of the humans they manage.

Because HRMs manage humans and because they have quite an influencial power over those humans, they are often regarded as very important managers, with a good sense of business importance, business priorities, and with a high esteme and a high salary. But in fact, they have no clue about the real work, the real challenges that those humans face, day-in day-out, to achieve the real business goals.

Anything I write may be my true opinion or an attempt to challenge my opinion (i.e. not my true opinion), or a combination. Any perceived correspondence with real people or real situations is purely coincidental.


About Frank Schophuizen (fschop)

Hi, my name is Frank Schophuizen and I am working as a consultant in CM, Agile and ALM for TOPIC Embedded Systems. I have over 30 years experience in software development in the technology industry, with the last 15 years mainly in process improvement, deployment and integration of methods and tools in the area of Agile (SAFe, Scrum), CM and ALM. I am strongly interested in the complexities of collaboration and integration in multi-project and multi-site organizations. I have worked with various technology companies such as Philips, ASML, NXP and Vanderlande, and with various tool vendors such as Atlassian (e.g. Jira, Confluence),IBM Rational (e.g. ClearCase, Synergy, Jazz products) as well as open source tools (e.g. SVN, Git, Jenkins, Trac, Eclipse). I am living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with my wife. We have 3 adult children. My main hobbies are classical music and photography.
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