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Project Management is not Micromanagement Silly!

Extremism in any shape and form is unacceptable and dangerous. And it applies to project management too.

Most often Project Managers (PMs) are so caught up with their project tasks and activities that they lose sight of the larger goal and end up controlling and dictating every action taken by their teams.

Sure, managing multiple projects with a large number of team members who are quite diverse and dispersed is an uphill task. And so is monitoring their work and progress. But this does not necessitate that every project activity have our stamp of approval.

It is indeed important that as PMs we ensure

  • Project works are completed on time and with quality
  • Continuous and timely monitoring mechanism are put in place
  • We are on top of approaching deadlines and milestones
  • Timely updates are delivered to us and the stakeholders
  • Foresight of any looming delays

Because these activities are integral to project delivery and success.  But in the right dosage!

But it is NOT OK to

  • Be the “Do it ALL yourself” guy
  • Be obsessively controlling of every activity
  • Be on a fault finding mission
  • Immerse yourself in every other person’s tasks
  • Refuse help and guidance from experienced members of the team
  • Lose focus of the bigger picture and drown in the least important of activities
  • Be unable to delegate tasks

The list is endless and I can go on and on…

These traits spell disaster. Simply put they certify that you are a MICROMANAGER!

And if you aren’t aware –

   “Micromanagement is just plain bad management”

“Micromanagement is just plain bad management” Click To Tweet

Micromanagement is bad news for everyone involved i.e. your team, your business, your company, your clients & stakeholders. But most importantly YOU!

Here is what Micromanagement costs all individuals and businesses alike:

  • Absolute loss of trust and confidence of your team members
  • Team members no longer wish to contribute
  • Loss of commitment and productivity
  • Highly demotivated team members
  • Stressful team environment
  • Deliverables that are low on quality and missed deadlines
  • Delays due to the greatest bottle-neck which is YOU
  • Little to no timely decision making
  • Disrupted operations
  • Loss of stakeholder and customer confidence
  • Loss of revenue and business

& the winner – End of your career!

If you have been at the receiving end of such traits or unfortunately possess any of such traits then here is what you must practice and remember for the greater good –

Learn the Art of Delegation – the more you delegate, the more you have time for important things – both personal and professional.

It is ok to let go where needed – identify every single step that needs your approval and remove as much as required and possible. Processes are meant to remove bottlenecks not create them.

Be realistic in your approach towards perfection – A timely good enough delivery is far more acceptable than your delayed best. Timeliness is a cherished trait!

Invite Feedback & Listen – It is very crucial to be a good listener given that fact that you are at the driver’s seat. Take constructive feedback in the right spirit and make necessary changes as applicable.

Empower teams to make their own decisions – Once you have assigned tasks to your people leave it up to them to complete and see their tasks through.

Show you care – It is important that the team knows that your care just as much about them as for the end goal.

Give Opportunity – Invite team members to contribute, share their experience and wisdom. A simple innovation can lead to great results.

Be the Coach and Mentor – Where needed show them ‘how to fish’ rather than server every meal! Let them find their own path to success. Teach them how to play; you cannot always step in to play for them.

Take one for the team – When things aren’t going as expected take ownership of any team failure. You owe it to them as they strive and sweat it out for you.

Appreciate and Share credit – Nothing motivates like an appreciation. Take every opportunity possible to appreciate and give credit to the worthy.

How you have managed under a micro-manager and what would you do if you found out you were one… Click To Tweet

The 10 Tenets above have time and again proved to have

Boosted motivation, productivity, loyalty and commitment. Above all they help you earn respect of your team and your customers.

The key idea here is you can win laurels and accolades on your own but those won’t take you far. Leadership and true success lies in showing and enabling teams to realize their full potential.

As rightfully stated by Walt Disney

“Of all the thing I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal!”

Do share how you have managed under a micro-manager and what would YOU do if you found out you were one of them!

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About the author

Priyank Agarwal
Priyank Agarwal

Customer Success & Product Manager, Orangescrum

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