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Tell Me What I Need To Know Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, March 28, 2011 9:22 PM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Tell Me What I Need To Know

Andy
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Post #1085281
Posted Monday, March 28, 2011 11:37 PM


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Hi Andy, very nice and accurate article indeed. You see I am in the unique situation where my boss wants me to work from home on days I do not serve my customers. This put a lot of stress on me because I had to have his trust and perform as I do in the work place or even better. He would then always ask me what I did and whenever I told him I always got the idea he was not satisfied. Till one day he said we should setup a work progress system where in the beginning of the week I would give him a report of what I plan to do which will be according to the work he set out to be done and at the end of the week I would give him a report as to what I actually finished. If I encountered any problems I would also enter that in the report together with the solution. That works very well and all of a sudden the pressure is off and he knows exactly what I did and going to do.

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Post #1085306
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:50 AM
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I think the problem is that, as you move further down the chain of authority, the employee doesn't know what their boss "needs to know". Of course I should tell you what you need to know -- what is that? A more clear (though less aphoristic) statement is: Tell me if it affects the future of the project or the company and you don't know how, or can't, deal with it yourself.
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Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:05 AM


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James Goodwin (3/29/2011)
I think the problem is that, as you move further down the chain of authority, the employee doesn't know what their boss "needs to know". Of course I should tell you what you need to know -- what is that? A more clear (though less aphoristic) statement is: Tell me if it affects the future of the project or the company and you don't know how, or can't, deal with it yourself.
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JimFive
If you don't know what your boss needs to know, that implies that you don't know what is important in your own job, and would be First Fail candidate. If you don't know, and can't figure it out, then ask. If you disagree with your boss about what's important, then you have the options of 1) arguing your point with your boss to change their viewpoint, 2) changing your viewpoint to give them what they feel is important or 3) moving on.


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Post #1085552
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:31 AM
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A piece of advice that a friend relayed to me was "Bad news doesn't age well."

It's a straight forward piece of advice but a bit harder to apply when that news needs to be relayed to a prickly person.
Post #1085702
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:37 AM


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jcrawf02 (3/29/2011)
If you don't know what your boss needs to know, that implies that you don't know what is important in your own job, and would be First Fail candidate.


It's not a matter of knowing what your boss does and doesn't need to know, it's what your boss THINKS they need to know, which can be two things entirely. Example: I had an old boss that I would let know when there were problems in the system but not every little piece of code I was optimizing. His perception was I was there to take care of problems so he didn't HAVE to care (unless it really hit the fan), but wanted to be able to direct my 'downtime' efforts towards his own goals.

My assumptions and his desires were a bit different. First fail? No, not really. Just a different perspective. A little communication (after about a month) got this cleaned up and him much happier. That road goes both ways.



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Post #1085748
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 1:29 PM


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I've been on both sides of this. It's a two-way street, and it'll fluctuate on "rules" depending on situations too.

The idea of a plan for the week followed up by list of what was done and what wasn't (mentioned earlier in the discussion) pretty well follows the management protocol I'm accustomed to. Scrum methodology pretty much revolves around that kind of thing too. (The management protocol I was trained in comes from massive efficiency and effectiveness studies done in the 50s and 60s and evolved since then. Predates scrum project management by a long time, but has enough parallels to be interesting.)


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Post #1085824
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:17 PM
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I agree on getting bad news out and done quickly. Prickly boss or not, waiting seldom makes it better. I'm a big fan of scrum, it's a simple way to greatly increase the flow of information without adding much overhead or noise (provided you have someone managing the scrum!).

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