Managers Support Group – Report

“It’s so great to hear that I’m not the only one dealing with this problem!” said one engineering manager after another had shared a problem they were having getting non-technical upper management to understand the time and complexity issues of software development.

The discussion was lively and time ran out long before we had covered all the topics that had come up. The topics discussed included:

  • Finding time to ‘get work done’ amidst constant interruptions
  • Protecting the team’s work flow from outside interruption and meddling
  • Finding focus, how to choose what to pursue and what to let go
  • Dealing with ill-defined goals
  • Dealing with morale busting bureaucracy and ‘HR’ influence

The night started out with a mini-workshop in which the participants took a hard look at the reasons meetings get called and identified the good from bad, from the ugly. As Socrates taught me, every meeting should have a goal that is:

  • Measurable, obvious when met
  • Attainable
  • Understood and shared by all
  • Meaningful, has clear benefit

When a group meets around such a goal:

  • The meeting has focus
  • The meeting can be short; no need to drone on after the goal is met
  • Attendance tends to improve
  • Attentiveness tends to improve
  • Attitudes and morale tend to improve

Next month we will have a new mini-workshop and more discussion and group support for the issues that you are facing every day. Join our meetup group!

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