Having been working for more than 10 years in the sphere of software development, I’ve seen inadequacy of many specialists – both simple employees and leaders. I’ve always been impressed by people’s apathy and absence of initiative. I’m convinced that if a person isn’t able to work effectively as an executor, he will never be able to manage a team effectively.
Moreover, I’ve always been annoyed by people who get into executive positions from other ‘foreign’ spheres. Such managers are not taken seriously by technical specialists, which results in hypocrisy: the manager expresses an absolutely crazy idea and sets a task, the subordinates pretends that it’s great and starts executing this task. What will be the result of such management and task execution? Nothing good.
Having read tons of books on task management and project management, I’m amazed how many different theories and approaches have been developed and invented. Consultants and other pundits have wimpled and confused simple things with beautiful but completely incomprehensible concepts and notions.
Let’s throw away all this husk and say as it is – we have to judge a manager by his results, in particular, by his team’s results. Here are some of my observations.
What are the causes of work delaying?
If you want your subordinates to provide the result at the fixed time, it’s necessary to detect as quickly as possible where and which delays happen during the course of the project development. Most managers make one typical mistake – they set a task for execution and forget about it till the end of the project when it is time to ask the executor about the results.
As the practice shows, a manager should get to know about the progress of the task as soon as possible since, in general, getting the task people are prone not to worry too much about any possible problems that can turn up during the task execution. As a rule, having received a task, an executor prefers working quietly in a simple and comfortable environment and not raising a question about the emerged problems. Otherwise, they will have to solve them. The sooner you discover and solve these problems, the more chances you’ll have to meet the deadline.
Control, control and control again
Don’t forget that the word ‘manager’ comes from the Italian word ‘maneggiare’, which means ‘to speed a horse’. In other words, having received a task, a person starts executing it exactly as he likes it. If you have even ridden a horse, you know that the direction of the horse can be easily changed by pulling the bridle slightly. Unfortunately, the horse’s rate has to be encouraged from time to time with jabbing.
I don’t like the whole idea of comparing people with horses but, unfortunately, that’s reality. Jab your subordinates, of course, in a figurative sense, as often as possible. Otherwise, they will switch from a trot to a pace.
Focus on the important
Very often I see people who have sunk in details. It happens because specialists always strain after the things which are simple for executing and which are within their zone of comfort. Your task is to return them all the time to the problem and demand the execution of the main aspects of the task. From time to time, check which nuances of the task the specialist is concentrated on. Otherwise, in the end you risk staying with a perfectionist who informs you about the failure to meet the deadline because he has been trying to do everything perfectly so that you were proud of his work.
Don’t make them crap out on you
If you are far from the sphere of IT, be ready that your employees will crap out on you trying to justify the task failure and technical impossibility of the task execution. If you are not in the topic, you will have to take for granted all the words of your subordinates, with all ensuing consequences. In other words, the versatility of a manager, irrespective of the subject area, is a myth. Hire a manager exclusively from the required field and with enough experience as an executive manager.
Many things that I have expressed in this article can be disputable. And I’m sure that some people won’t agree with me. Thus, it will be interesting to listen to your opinions and ideas on this topic. What is ‘successful management’? Who are they: effective managers?
About the Author: Hi, my name’s Jannet Sparts and I’m working as an editor of Online-Issues.com. I write for several blogs sharing my experience and observations. I have worked as a project manager in several companies. So I have tried different PM tools, collaboration programs, including tracker and task management software solutions. For the moment PM is my primary field of interest.