Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too many Managers spoil the project

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?


Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly, completely, without doubt etc.
I believe this (not having to take blame)is one of the reasons more and more people tend to move to project management stream. All I see the project managers doing nowadays is "People manipulation". As you said, unfortunately, top management is ONLY concerned about the billing and outcome. If the outcome is good, project managers get rewarded. If it is bad, there are always poor junior staff to be scapegoats.
There is no solution to this situation. The only chance is if there exists any manager with some conscience left.

Anonymous said...

What you said is what i see everydays but in my case it is worth, ALL Managers (project managers and director) are Freelance consequently they only focus on short term objectives.

Anonymous said...

Am an independent cosultant and I do see the same day in and out. Only way we can be successful is, focusing on your working and try to do the best you can. In US talent will be appreciated no matter the position. I don't know about India coroporate culture.. . .

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