Posts Tagged Management

Who makes the decisions in your team?

As a manager it is hard to let go, especially the decision making attribute. But I did notice that when you deal with smart people, sometimes smarter than you, the more decisions you made as a manager, the less engaged others in your team become, and the less ownership they have in the results.

So it is key – when deal with smart people – to trust them, to provide feedback and if they are the closest to the problem to ask them to be the one actually making the decisions after they collect enough opinions (incl advices from you as their manager) and to own those decisions including all the good or bad consequences.

Sure the devil is in the details:
Are we talking about the strategy, about a given tactic, about a daily decision, etc…?
I think it’s it all about the trust you have in the team and trust comes from commitments previously made and delivered.

Glad to see someone wrote an entire book on this aspect (I did not read it yet) and arrived to the same conclusions.
Please find a summary/slideshare of this book here:





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21 signs of BAD MANAGERS I met in my career as a software manager

21 signs of BAD MANAGERS I met in my career as a software manager

  1. Bias against action or against planning, simply waiting or postponing for ever; embrace the status-quo
  2. Secrecy, not willing to share information. giving the feeling that having access to information is a privilege reserved to managers
  3. Working very long hours to prove hard work or hide incompetence
  4. Over-sensitivity, someone that reacts immediately but the reaction is not a real response but mostly an emotional fact
  5. Brain washed by procedures and processes; favor a process instead of getting things done
  6. Expect the people to read they minds; hand in hand with secrecy –  i keep the info for me and then blame people for not acting
  7. Preference for weak employees or candidates, feeling threatened by the super-competent employees or candidates
  8. Focus on small tasks, missing the big picture and favoring details  on a specific task where he is competent
  9. Inability to hire former employees: none of his former colleagues were convinced to join him in his new company or he is simply someone that never mentored anyone or never took time to inspire anyone that can trust him
  10. Not setting  deadlines, the work is done when is done …why bother with time boxed iterations
  11. Favoring consultants instead of growing his staff
  12. Letting his employees feel like an anonym and irrelevant person that does not make any difference if stay or go
  13. Not measuring and not giving feedback based on real metrics and expectations previously communicated and clarified (not on feelings and emotions)
  14. Not telling people what he is expecting from them
  15. Micromanaging
  16. Sneaky boss – someone that is continuously acting or talking behind his employees’ backs so they are never sure where they stand
  17. Managing his boss more than growing his staff , and this is sometimes ok, but in general only to protect his staff or the company from bad decisions coming from superior management
  18. Divide and Conquer – strong believer in internal competition more than in the internal collaboration
  19. Ignoring non-performers – usually we are tempted to build on strengths and recognize top performers, but at the end “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”
  20. Stealing credit – if we win I will stick my name at the top, if we loose it is definitely because the team is not mature enough or understaffed or ….simply “acted without my knowledge, they need some control”
    My product as a development manager is the TEAM (the ORG when applicable).

Yes, I do recognize myself in some of these points … and I am working on some of them. Stay tuned !

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Great management advice

“It’s extremely important to move responsibility very low in the organization. Your goal is not to be working on a project where you can’t sleep at night. Your goal isn’t to have it so that the project leads can’t sleep at night.
Your goal is so that NOBODY sleeps at night. And when nobody is sleeping at night, you have pushed responsibility to the proper level.” 

Chris Peters, Microsoft veteran , ex VP of MS Office


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Patterns of effective teams

“Some teams are orders of magnitude more effective than others, turning around business solutions in days or even hours. Their secret is a combination of smart technology choices, great development habits and a powerful team dynamic.”

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