|Related to support staff, I'd like to take a moment to talk about systems engineers. These are the people who generally keep track of things in a project and have a decent understanding of the technical specifics. At my job, every project apparently needs a systems engineer, and systems engineers are like rabbits in that they tend to multiply. You start off with one, but before you know it, you have a whole team of them.
My firm opinion on systems engineering is that it's thoroughly and completely non-value added. I've worked with systems engineers many times, and the most common sentence I tend to utter is, "You want me to do what? Why?" On the one hand, it's good to have a person to keep track of things. But on the other hand, we all already do that ourselves, and generally the project manager does it as well. Systems engineering is just this unnecessary add-on that requires additional time and energy and provides no realizable benefit to anyone. I've never been a part of a systems engineering thing and thought afterwards, "Wow, that was totally worth it."
Systems engineers seem to really enjoy interacting with other systems engineers, and they tend to talk to each other in big words and meaningless acronyms while filling out useless spreadsheets that no one looks at. At the end of the day, they produce nothing. Their work makes no money, provides no value. We should banish these foul people to the far reaches of the earth. #business