Are you a
project micromanager or surrounded by them?
When you're under pressure to deliver results, sometimes it's tempting to
take control over every tiny task from each team member. But
doing it all yourself, or micromanaging, won’t ensure
Identifying the micromanagers
We all know project managers who “micromanage”. No
project task is too small for them to do without anyone else
being involved. When assigning tasks to another member of a
project team, these micromanagers demand complete plan details
on activity all along the way to completion.
When reviewing a project, they tend to act like the
proverbial Monday-morning inquisition, questioning everything.
The micromanager expresses how she or he would have approached
a particular task or objective in another, more efficient and
I suppose we can all empathize with a project
micromanager. And surely, we have all engaged in some form of
micromanagement at one point or another in our careers.
We have all been a part of projects where some team
members were new to the assignment or were not top
performers.So there is temptation to slip into micromanaging
to ensure a quality result.
Why are we tempted to micromanage? Well, being responsible for
anything tends to bring out the "control freak" in
technology professionals. The old adage, "If you want
something done right, you need to do it yourself"
surfaces. This is a combination of both a professional’s
insecurity and lack of trust in other team members' abilities.
Micromanaging tends to stifle creativity and other
valuable input from team members. The perception from team
members is that no matter what they offer, it won't be good
enough and so they don’t participate. Team member interest
in attaining goals is lost because the project manager refuses
to delegate responsibilities. This severely diminishes
motivation and future contributions from the team.
Regardless of the intellectual capacity or years of
experience and accomplishments a project manager may have, he
or she just can't do everything. Team members grow and
flourish when given assignments that challenge their skills
Project managers also need to avoid the tendency to
"critique to death" project tasks completed by team
members. Everyone realizes the value in pursuing quality work,
but people management is just as important. A good way to
review a project is to commend the good results and then
discuss ways to avoid any results that went badly.
Focusing too sharply on the unit versus the process
result also tends to send the wrong message that a team member
could have done better. Most task results can be used
effectively in meeting overall project objectives when tested
and reviewed by other team members. Trying to always attain
110 percent effectiveness on something that is already 100
percent there not only wastes valuable time but money and
staff resources as well.
Edpeople proposed solution
Project managers can avoid micromanaging tendencies by
applying team members' talents, brains, skill sets, and
experience to attaining the intended project objectives.
Team members seek leadership, not someone to do their
jobs or overcritique every task completed. People feel good
when they have a sense of accomplishment and feel that they
have contributed to a project’s success.
In the end, it’s the project manager who is
ultimately responsible for getting the project done on time
and within budget. He or she is also tasked with meeting
project objectives and attaining the quality result outlined
by the client and senior management.
a team of highly skilled and qualified individuals with
diverse personalities is no easy task. Attaining project goals
and achieving results should bring out the best in every team
Success can be claimed when everyone is a part of the project
process and has contributed to the project’s result.
Daniel Pottier é consultor
Associado da Edpeople Talentos Humanos.