This is listed in AntiPatternsCatalog
as an AntiPattern
. What is it? Or is this a DeletionCandidate
Maybe it means if your company has a regular FireDrill
that you assume people know what to do in case of a fire. As in assuming going through the motions is the same as learning. But if so, there's probably a better name for it, like FollowingProcessIsntUnderstanding?
Another possibility would be that every new requirement is processed like an emergency even when it isn't, hence going through the motions amounts to a FireDrill
I think this is referring to an ethnic reference (a _______ Firedrill). Not sure why the ethnic reference which I will not include, but that is what everyone I know refers to it as. In short, you stop in the road, usually at a stoplight or sign, and everyone gets out and runs around and gets back in the car in a different seat than they were in. An exercise in futility. While positions change, you are still in the same vehicle. Also an undertone of being silly (or stupid?) enough to think changing positions will help, or that there is even a fire? IRL done to confuse or annoy those behind you. As relates to AntiPatterns
: in a meeting, many people will change positions just to be difficult, making sure they disagree with someone, to prevent work actually being assigned, or at least not assigned to them. Sometimes, FireDrill
is used also to mean promoting a difficult person to management, under the thinking that they will do less damage there. Of course, more damage is done there...
It's a reference to reorganizing for the sake of it, especially in management. When things don't seem to be going ok, change offices, switch which projects managers are managing, split existing divisions in half and combine others, all while not actually changing any real roles or responsibility below. It's a great way to look like management is really doing something important.
The other reason this kind of thing goes on is feudalism. As the founder becomes more or less enamored of a given manager, that person's reports grow and shrink. Since the company still needs to produce things, people's jobs stay the same, and since they need to work for somebody, they're shuffled among the more favored sons.
The ethnic reference is (a Bavarian Firedrill) and it is named after the Bavarian Illuminatii. No ethnic slur is intended or implied in the original. It can be found in the Illuminatus trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. It refers to the tendency of people to obey people who appear to be in authority and use charged language. In the demonstration in the book two characters get out of their car at a stop light and run around banging on the hoods of the other cars shouting "Bavarian Firedrill; follow me." Most of the people did so and followed the pair around. The example above of everyone in a single car changing seats seems to be a degenerate memory of the original.
I think that Shea and Wilson are modeling their Bavarian FireDrill after the <ethnic> one, and not vice versa; the key is that the <ethnic> FireDrill ends up with everyone back in the same car, while the Bavarian one plays off the Illuminatus Trilogy's theme of unthinking obedience to get everyone out of their car.
According to Wikipedia, the <ethnic> one is recorded at least from the 1940s, conclusively predating the Shea and Wilson's usage. I've found it useful to assume that anything stated as plain fact in that trilogy is virtually certain to be inaccurate at best.
I don't understand, why is the word 'Chinese' censored out? Is it considered an offensive word? Is this some kind of a weird wiki injoke?
The ethnicity changes depending on where you are; it's not always Chinese.
At a more basic level, I understand FireDrill
as when a manager creates problems in order to look busy. Poor managers are never proactive; certain managers are worse, and light everything on fire so they can run around yelling "Fire! Fire!"