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How to manage micro-managers

Page history last edited by alfred kausel 11 years, 10 months ago

This was an interesting session.


The issue that several participants have experienced is the potentially negative interference that micro-managing managers can have with the "self-organizing" "ask-the-team" style of management applied in SCRUM.


The question then turned to the whys of micro-management. Without going into deep psychoanalysis, we found a few simple causes:


  • Thirst for information: when changing practices continue to feed a steady flow of appropriate information so that managers feel that they are kept informed.
  • Satisfy constituents with data in a format that they may be more familiar with (like a gant chart, ...) even when it may be seen as wasteful
  • Provide on-going education about the Scrum process
  • Don't jam the Scrum jargon to people that are not familiar with it. Repeat step above. Translate to terms that they may be more familiar with
  • For managers that are impatient about results, reduce Sprint length to two weeks and make clear that once started it is frozen and that it cannot be changed
  • Decompose tasks to a level so that any one task can be done within three days, preferably one day - this will help everybody in the organization to know clearly what is "done" and what is not. These micro-deliverables may not be deployable, but should be testable.
  • Channel micro-managers urges to meddle in the project to a designated channel in order to insulate the "team"
  • When education alone fails, add politics, diplomacy and going out to a bar to smooth out conflicts, issues and concerns


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