The Admiral’s Pipe
I was recently reminded of a story one of our development managers told me. Before he started his career in software he was a sailor aboard a Russian sub. Inspections by the admiral were a regular occurrence and involved a huge investment of time to clean the entire sub… As you might expect Russian admirals were fairly demanding and always expected to find problems. In fact they kept looking until they found the problem however unimportant they were. Apparently the sailors came up with a creative way address placate the admiral. They would leave one, fairly obvious, pipe un-cleaned. The admiral would find this pipe, insist that it be cleaned and feel satisfied that he found a problem and not dig any deeper. This practice became known as using “the Admiral’s pipe”.
I will leave it to you to apply this to your work with your own management whether a Russian admiral or IT manager…
BTW, if any of *my* management is reading this, rest assured that this has nothing to do with the executive review deck we are putting together today. ;-)