Wow, did you read that title? What a great title. Nice and concise. Poetic, I think. Inspiring, even. I like that. Anyway, as the title suggests, this particular glob of words is going to be devoted to reasons why I am or was a terrible manager and what I’m doing or have done to address those and make myself an un-terrible manager. So without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we?
Firstly, a couple key things that I did wrong on the previous project: I was never officially appointed manager (this is a big one) and I didn’t properly implement robust management & communication structures from the beginning. So, how have I addressed these so far? The first, was pretty much addressed for me. I declared an interest in project management, and as such I was assigned to a team as project manager by the facilitators (i.e. lecturers). So it was pretty clear to everyone that was the role I was taking.
As for the management and communication structures, they are much better this time around also. Within a couple of days we had a full design and tech doc, both of which are much more details and comprehensive than those of the previous project. I will admit, however, some details on the more aesthetic side of things is still missing. I shall endeavor to rectify this within the next few days by discussing such considerations with the team. Furthermore, we have also been operating from a full Gantt chart from the point as the documentation was completed. So now, everyone knows who is doing what and when.
The communication is still somewhat lacking. We’re having meetings more often and with greater productivity, however, one team member has disappeared for the last few days and efforts to contact him have not been successful. From the experience I have with him from the last project, he should be continuing his work effectively, yet until I manage to get in contact with him that is naught more than hopeful optimism. Otherwise, a more rigid and repeating meeting structure has been established so as to remove reliance on the continual ‘Is everyone free at X o’clock for a meeting?’ messages. This way, they know well in advance that they need to be free at this time on this day so we can make sure we’re still on track.
So that’s the main mistakes I made in the past covered. Now, insofar I’ve already noticed a few things I need to aim to improve upon. Firstly is my flexibility in terms of task completion. I’ve found I’m far too accepting of delays, so I need to be more firm with ‘this need to be done by then, no exceptions’. That’s something I’ll be doing over the remainder of the project for sure. Also, further improving communication is some I’m going to focus on. Particularly making sure teammates don’t just disappear for a while. It really is… inconvenient, to say the least.
So that’s management for me right now in a nutshell, more or less. Things are better, but far from perfect. That’s management for me in a much smaller nutshell, just for you. I’m sure I’ll be rambling on about all this again soon enough, so if you’re sitting there thinking “Dear god! How ever will he manage this?” be sure to come back and find out. Or don’t. It’s up to you really. Regardless, until next time (if there is one).