Listening to the team - Steve Rowe

“Features, Timeframe, Budget, and Quality; Pick three”. It’s usually possible to hit all three of the first choice as long as you are willing to sacrifice quality. 

The dictatorial manager is the person that just says, “You will have the following specs done by this date.”

The persuasive manager is less obvious but nearly as bad. 

A better model is to listen to the team.  A team will usually give signals if they think they are being asked to do too much. The wise manager listens to this and adjusts plans accordingly. This is the genius of systems like Scrum and Agile development. 

If a manager senses that the workload is too much, it is their responsibility to reduce it. As much of a manager’s job should be spent deciding what not to do as deciding what to do. This may generate heat from upper management who wants everything in a limited time, with a fixed budget, and at the highest quality. Helping upper management understand the situation and even taking the pain if understanding is not conveyed is the responsibility of the manager. If failure is inevitable, it is better to fail in a place of your choosing (that with the least impact/priority) rather than risk failure on a broader scale at a later date.

Listening to the team - original

Jan 03, 2012
comments powered by Disqus