Contains notes and lessons in working technology, especially .NET, Azure, DevOps, Agile, and Team Foundation Server.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dictatorial Management

Issues don't go away simply because you issue an edict or say that the issue will no longer happen.

One of my favorites is a problem my team runs into almost every day: a developer checks code into the system and breaks the deployment to our test environment. Management's "solution" is that developers shouldn't break the deployment so there's no point in educating the developers on how to troubleshoot and resolve deployment issues.

Now stop and re-read that last sentence. What!?

Because an issue shouldn't occur, there's no point in educating people on how to solve the issue when it does occur. This is a typical management solution.

Another common management solution is to threaten to track the number of issues per developer and have this count reflected on their next performance review. Thus far, I've never seen this done, as to do so would be quite onerous on the manager (and in reality, what does this actually solve?).

How much more successful would companies, teams, and people be if we would stop the nonsense of impossible solutions? Simply stating 'this issue will never happen again' or to threaten and cajole does nothing to actually solve a problem. Why don't we work in realities and actual possible solutions instead of the ridiculous power-insanity of those at the top or the simplistic manager solutions that do nothing to address the real issues.

Do you want to actually provide a real solution? How about empowering your employees with the mastery and autonomy to actually care about what they do and the quality with which they do it? What if they had some ownership in the process and the success of what they are doing? What if instead of dictating, you stepped aside and let the team choose? It might not be good for your ego, but it sure would solve a lot more issues than a top down approach.