What is the first thing that comes to your mind when reading Micromanagement?
The way I understand this concept is when people (usually managers) are managing you from different perspectives and angles, as in there is constant communication about proving status reports of how things are in a work environment, which can be understood as a lack of freedom. I am for sure not the first person to point this out, but every time that I get into a conversation at work, where it feels like micro-management, the first question that comes to my mind is: why does this person not trust me?
So then, is this a consequence of bad leaders not being able to delegate work and a lack of trust? I would say: maybe!?.
However, finding the reason behind the lack of trust is not always up to the managers. It can be that I (the developer) am not fully transparent about what I am doing, and how is this progressing.
Other questions that I can imagine are:
- Am I using the right words to communicate my daily status?
- Am I sharing every concern I know about the new feature I am building?
- Am I afraid to tell them that I am running out of time or that my first estimation was completely wrong?
Moreover, it may also mean that the process or methodology the company is using is causing this. And the reason why I have mentioned these points is that I usually see developers complaining about Micromanagement, but they do not reflect on the past and ask themselves what can be done from their end to make this better. As I understand it, this can evolve into another famous concept in the IT field called proactivity, which IMHO can happen in two different ways. One is to jump up whenever someone next to you needs your help, and from the other side raise your hand whenever you feel stuck or realize that something unexpected has happened that can potentially have an impact on whatever task you are doing.Going back to the way I like to handle this, there are a few things that I try to keep in mind when working on something, especially in those times when I am working on my own, and completely asynchronous from the rest of the team:
- Keep all tooling I am using to track the progress up to date (Jira might be one of the most common tools I have used for this)
- Be transparent about the REAL status of what I am working on
- Share concerns and blockers as soon as they happen, even when I feel I have a solution in mind, because the sooner we tackle this the better!
- Be proactive when sharing dependencies of what I am doing
- DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS! I am never afraid to ask questions, even when I feel that I should have addressed that before
Of course, there is no recipe for this, and just in case there is one unfortunately I do not have it! but in my experience so far the points I have mentioned before helped me to deal with Micromanagement in a better way at the end of the day.