Deep dive

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A middle manager, hard at work yesterday


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Deep dive /diːp/ /ˈdaɪvɪŋ/ (n.)
The process whereby an individual with not the first clue about the matter at hand is charged with the sacred quest of venturing deep down into the weeds in which another team of specialists is obliged to operate with the object of discovering just what it is they do down in there, and then simplifying it, summarising it and reporting it back up the chain to those individuals who commissioned her in the first place — being individuals with, necessarily, even less of a clue about it than the deep-diver — in a format in which they can understand — namely a single animated slide on a deck, ideally with some nice colourful RAG statuses and a dashboard of some sort.

Being, as she will be, a person from the middle management layer with a slim prospect of understanding what she sees when she gets there, a deep-dive is typically forlorn quest, even before it is re-rendered into PowerPoint gibberish.

There is a serious point about this which James C. Scott brings out in his marvellous book Seeing Like a State:

See also