All of us in our childhood must have heard of the proverb "Too many cooks spoil the broth". If too many people try to take charge of a task, the end product might be ruined. This applies to any task like an implementation project as well.An easy way to identify if the project is going awry is when you find many people following up to find the status of the job being done. In one of my earlier projects there was one developer writing a piece of code and there were four managers chasing the poor lady for updates and status. However, none of these managers were capable or inclined to help out the person writing a complex piece of code.One really felt bad when a bug was detected in the code and none of the managers took ownership and started blaming each other and the poor lady for writing the incorrect code.
So, the next obvious question would be wher the top management is blind to such mis-management or most of the time over-management (sometimes micro-management)? My answer would be a definite 'Yes'. For the top management what matters at the end of the day is billing and not success or failure of projects. They are mostly driven by short term objectives of ensuring that their bench strength is low and not the long term objective of ensuring customer satisfaction by delivering a good solution for the client. Also, with having too many managers, the internal dynamics of peer rivalry; of each person trying to show case himself as the better manager in the eyes of top management and trying to out-do the other in a selfish manner puts the project at a grave risk.
Most of us would have seen or been part of such a project. Do share your thoughts on why we staff so many managers when there is no necessity for so many managers without defining clear boundaries and scope and conflicting job area. And, if someone has changed such a scenario, do share your experience on how to change such a situation and bring the project back to track?