Nenad Trajkovski | Project Manager, Manager, and Micromanagement
Today I want to discuss with you about Micromanagement. What is Micromanagement anyway? It is a Management style whereby a Manager closely observes and/or controls the work of his/her subordinates or employees or project team. Is it bad? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Who can do Micromanagement in Projects? Managers and Project Managers. Whoever does it is evidence of lack of trust. Why? If you need to control every single detail, every single line of code (in SW development), every decision, then you do not trust the person who makes those decisions.
Now let’s first focus on Project Manager. Its role is not to have every single detail under the control. Not at all. He or she is responsible for control of the project as a whole! It means he or she should know if the project is on track (within time, budget, scope, quality), what are the risks, what are the problems in the project, and finally to manage stakeholders. Are they getting what they asked for? How is the team doing, etc.
Remember, if you are a Project Manager, then you are supposed to let your team make decisions on how to make their tasks in the best way. So, if we are talking about software development, you must be aware that your team is developing it in order of following standards which are set up upfront. Your job is NOT to check every single line of code. Let your team breath! And help them. You are not in the army. Command and control don’t work. It never did, and it never will.
In my region, we have a lot of SW companies which have a Micromanagement problem with company Managers. Why? The mentioned Managers have started their companies in “garage”. What does this mean? It means that they were developers at the very beginning. And there is nothing wrong about that. But their company is big now. And they are dealing with Management. And Management is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the efforts of its employees (or of volunteers) to accomplish its objectives through the application of available resources, such as financial, natural, technological, and human resources. To be a Manager you should be educated. Period! E-D-U-C-A-T-E-D! If you were excellent developer, and company owner, it does NOT mean that you are now (when your company is large) a good Manager, just because you are in that position. And more importantly, you should STOP acting like a developer! Because you WERE a developer, and now you are supposed to be MANAGER!
So, prerequisites for a good manager are:
- take the education about Management,
- set your mind in a way that you are not developer any more,
- do not interfere in your developers everyday work.
Not so long ago I was external PM in one famous company in the region. And I was told what to do, and what I’m not supposed to do! I have no freedom to do my work for what I am educated in. After three months I left! Why? Since I was supposed to be responsible for a project but had no authority of making and kind of decisions.
Believe me, I know what I am talking about.
Nenad Trajkovski, NT Consulting