Dan Luu neatly summarises why treating people as interchangeable is one of the most damaging things you can do to an organisation:

“A friend of mine recently told me a story about a trendy tech company where they tried to move six people to another project, one that the people didn’t want to work on that they thought didn’t really make sense. The result was that two senior devs quit, the EM retired, one PM was fired (long story), and three people left the team. The team for both the old project and the new project had to be re-created from scratch.

“As we’ve previously seen, an effective team is difficult to create, due to the institutional knowledge that exists on a team, as well as the team’s culture, but destroying a team is very easy.

“I find it interesting that so many people in senior management roles persist in thinking that they can re-direct people as easily as opening up the city view in Civilization and assigning workers to switch from one task to another when the senior ICs I talk to have high accuracy in predicting when these kinds of moves won’t work out.”