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Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 2:53 AM


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An ignorance of IT seems to be a pre-requisite for management positions where I work. That would be okay if they were good managers...
Post #1568331
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 4:12 AM
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paul s-306273 (5/7/2014)
An ignorance of IT seems to be a pre-requisite for management positions where I work. That would be okay if they were good managers...


In "The Art of Management" Richard Templer says that you don't need to be able to do the job of the people that you are managing, because it is not your job to do theirs if they are absent. If you do, who is managing? But he does say that you should understand what they do, which might entail learning the basics (but don't let upper management know, or they may expect the above).

This struck me as obvious, but difficult to achieve. Then again balancing these two opposing pressures is part of the managers job.
Post #1568355
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 4:20 AM


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Alex Gay (5/7/2014)
paul s-306273 (5/7/2014)
An ignorance of IT seems to be a pre-requisite for management positions where I work. That would be okay if they were good managers...


In "The Art of Management" Richard Templer says that you don't need to be able to do the job of the people that you are managing, because it is not your job to do theirs if they are absent. If you do, who is managing? But he does say that you should understand what they do, which might entail learning the basics (but don't let upper management know, or they may expect the above).

This struck me as obvious, but difficult to achieve. Then again balancing these two opposing pressures is part of the managers job.


Thus is often true but then they can fall into the trap of thinking that they are experts at your job too so question every detail of everything that they are told.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1568359
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 5:58 AM
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Steve Jones is generally speaking on track with what he said. Having spent 15 years in management roles and 35 years in technical roles I can say I have seen both sides of the issue. That being said, the editorial yesterday relative to career vs. vocation makes all the difference in the world. When I was young and relatively stupid in the ways of the corporate world, I thought moving into management was the best thing for my career. I did well in some environments and poorly in others but it was always career focused. During that 15 years I was miserable as a person.

Nineteen years ago I changed hats and went back to technical work, my vocation. I have never regretted it.

Managers receive better compensation than their technical people for the simple reason they are accountable to senior management to meet the goals and objectives of the business organization. Technical people are the tools/resources they use to achieve that. Our work is not in a sports arena but rather an manufacturing organization. Yes, we are the talent but our talent does not bring in revenue for most companies; normally we reduce costs; sports team talent brings in the bucks. There is a reason sales people get paid so much; they bring in the revenue.

We as technical talent can steer the manager in the right direction through constant feedback in a one-on-one meeting. By this I do not mean being obsequious but rather providing sufficient information to help the manager succeed. Managers hate surprises; we can keep them informed and prevent issues by providing feedback.

I was on a project where a deadline was set by upper management but the UI designers took three months longer to get the design to us than planned. Senior management was never told of this delay until it was used as a reason for not delivering on time. Team leadership never told the development management team of the delay and as a result everyone had egg on their face.
Post #1568398
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:06 AM
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We don't have managers. We use the "Group System" where everyone is a member of one or more groups. Each group reports to another group in a hierarchy. There is a group leader, but he is not above any of the members. People in our company are expected to know what to do and do it. We have six month peer reviews, and if someone isn't working out it is obvious.

I've been here four years and love it. I am in a product development group and a product support group. For the first group I develop new features. For the second group I fix bugs.
Post #1568402
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:39 AM
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The best manager I had was not technical. The worst manager I had was technical. Most are in between and are OK as leaders. I've had good and bad from both sides. What really seems to make the difference is the ability to understand the capabilities of their charges and act accordingly. You assign tasks based on their strengths and train to rid them of their weaknesses.

Tom
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Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:42 AM


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eric.notheisen (5/7/2014)
...
I was on a project where a deadline was set by upper management but the UI designers took three months longer to get the design to us than planned. Senior management was never told of this delay until it was used as a reason for not delivering on time. Team leadership never told the development management team of the delay and as a result everyone had egg on their face.


The fear of reporting the truth only causes more mayhem in my experience.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1568424
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:42 AM


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erb2000 (5/7/2014)
We don't have managers. We use the "Group System" where everyone is a member of one or more groups. Each group reports to another group in a hierarchy. There is a group leader, but he is not above any of the members. People in our company are expected to know what to do and do it. We have six month peer reviews, and if someone isn't working out it is obvious.

I've been here four years and love it. I am in a product development group and a product support group. For the first group I develop new features. For the second group I fix bugs.


Now that sounds interesting!!!


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1568426
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:52 AM
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Surely no-one would ever *want* to be a manager if they were paid less than the people they're overseeing? I certainly wouldn't want to do that job!
Post #1568434
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014 7:00 AM
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Steph Locke (5/7/2014)


The proposition that managers should be de facto paid less than technical experts isn't something I agree with. I'd suggest the amount of management a particularly strong set of technical experts needs is actually significantly higher and more complex than a team of mediocre techies as they will need interactions with folks higher up the company and the pressures are greater. Such a person needs to be very skilled at management and their pay should reflect that.


+1 !

I think we get hung up on how managers "manage people" when in fact, much of managers work involves directing peoples efforts, and when you think of it, making multiple peoples workflows mesh in a productive fashion is a nontrivial problem!

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