The New Peter Principle - Quartet Service

The New Peter Principle

The New Peter Principle

The Peter Principle states that organizations get hamstrung by promoting people until they’re incompetent. If you’re not incompetent now, you’ll get promoted until you are. Companies get littered with disillusioned, incompetent staff and eventually corporate rot sets in. The Peter Principle sure isn’t a new idea, but we all still have to guard against it and no industry is immune to it.


Something similar is happening in IT. Let’s call it “The New Peter Principle”. IT staff are fighting incompetence even without the promotions and it’s not just due to the accelerating need for continuing education. Convergence (data, telecommunication, networks) is being driven by dramatic price/performance improvements and small IT departments don’t have the required breadth. Where a sole practitioner or small group used to be sufficient, such comprehensive skill sets are required now that they can’t do it by themselves. Going it alone, gets you left behind that’s “The New Peter Principle”.


Almost all of our accounts get the attention of several technical specialists. We leverage these economies of skill across all our customers. You benefit by reduced time to deployment, reduced risk of failure, reduced down time, less costly research and other significant ways. Most of all however, you benefit by being able to take advantage of new technologies when the time is right for you. No educational delay and no turf protecting.


IT skills convergence is going to accelerate in the next few months with the new Microsoft product launches. Quartet is involved with some of these launches and we’ve joined the Venture Tech network to broaden our geographic and functional capabilities. We’ve also expanded our educational initiatives. We’ll be holding several product information sessions jointly with Microsoft and we’ve partnered with The Canadian Management Centre for some special educational programs. Quartet will pay half the cost for you to attend special courses on IT planning and project management. In addition, our technicians will take the courses with you to make sure we can implement the ideas that come from them. We’re not going it alone and you shouldn’t either.


The key to defending against The New Peter Principle is efficient, effective interfaces between vendors and clients. Much has been written about this recently (download the IDC report on how Quartet’s services are designed) and there is a growing body of relevant research available. I am one of the organizers of CORE, which is a non-profit organization aimed at outsourcing education and research in all sectors. I encourage you to attend one of our events to get new ideas on how to increase the competitive advantage outsourcing brings. We have an event planned for January 23rd where one of Quartet’s clients and I will present a case study on our IT outsourcing experience. I hope you can make it. See the CORE site for more details. (


The New Peter Principle may never compete with the original for academic merit, but it did help me make a point. If you are new to our web site, thanks for visiting and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. If you are a client, I look forward to our next meeting.


Take Care,
Robert Bracey

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