Does your manager still know what to do?
At one point, maybe that manager did. But the more senior the manager, the less likely that manager knows how to perform the work anymore. Do not allow managers who don’t know the technical work to influence the project schedule or the technical environment. People who don’t perform technical work should not change the project schedule or buy technical tools. It’s fine if those people provide a monetary ceiling—fiduciary responsibility makes sense. But making the final decision? That’s up to the people who do the work.
The more you allow the manager to influence your work, the worse your work environment may become.
Managers don’t always ask for what they want.
If you have a manager who insinuates himself into your work, ask that manager what he wants. In this case, John wants this project to be done faster so the next project can be started earlier. Sometimes, managers want to release earlier, especially if they are not using agile approaches. Whatever the case, the project team always has options.
It’s okay for a manager to want a project to end early. Managers can want anything. It’s how they act on those wishes that might be a problem. As long as managers trust in their project teams, and as long as those project teams work to earn trust, both sides can work together.
Read more of Johanna's management myth columns here:
- The Myth of 100% Utilization
- Only the 'Expert' Can Perform This Work
- We Must Treat Everyone the Same Way
- I Don't Need One-on-ones
- We Must Have an Objective Ranking System
- I Can Save Everyone
- I Am Too Valuable to Take a Vacation
- I Can Still Do Significant Technical Work
- We Have No Time for Training
- I Can Measure the Work by the Time People Spend at Work
- The Team Needs a Cheerleader!
- I Must Promote the Best Technical Person to Be a Manager
- I Must Never Admit My Mistakes
- I Must Always Have a Solution to the Problem
- I Need People to Work Overtime
- I Know How Long the Work Should Take
- I Must Solve the Team’s Problem for Them
- I Can Move People Like Chess Pieces
- Management Doesn’t Look Difficult From the Outside, So It Must Be Easy
- I Can Compare Teams (and It’s Valuable to Do So)
- It’s Always Cheaper to Hire People Where the Wages Are Less Expensive
- If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working
- You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager
- People Don’t Need External Credit
- Performance Reviews Are Usefult
- It's Fine to Micromanage
- We Can Take Hiring Shortcuts
- I Can Standardize How Other People Work
- I Can Concentrate on the Run
- I Am More Valuable than Other People
- I Don’t Have to Make the Difficult Choices
- I Can Treat People as Interchangeable Resources