Help Your Manager

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Help Your Manager

  • Thanks for the shout out, sir!

  • In my team we put small tasks on a Trello Kanban board. This gives visibility of all those things that consume time but aren't a fit for a JIRA ticket.

    The cards from the DONE column are migrated at the end of the month onto a separate board with a column per month.

    This makes it visible to all what we are doing and retrospectively what we achieved.

    A naming convention allows us to associate these tasks with JIRA tickets where that is relevant. The manager can see where a team member is taking too much on and react accordingly

  • Sometimes as technical people we forget all the other pressures our managers are under - personell issues, purchasing, licensing, vendor management, dealing with departmental managers and higher management. It is important to take account of this and not make our personal concerns a further source of pressure and to give them the support they need.

    Also as soccer coach Carlo Ancelotti said "the boss is not always right, but he is always the boss".

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  will 58232.
  • David.Poole wrote:

    In my team we put small tasks on a Trello Kanban board. This gives visibility of all those things that consume time but aren't a fit for a JIRA ticket.

    The cards from the DONE column are migrated at the end of the month onto a separate board with a column per month.

    This makes it visible to all what we are doing and retrospectively what we achieved.

    A naming convention allows us to associate these tasks with JIRA tickets where that is relevant. The manager can see where a team member is taking too much on and react accordingly

    David, I really like the idea of using Trello Kanban boards for tracking small tasks! I've never used Trello, so I've got to ask, is it reasonable in cost?

    Rod

  • Review time is important, so I take it seriously. But depending upon your situation its less important, than for others. I work in state government. As such I have no hope of increasing my raise, if I get one at all. (Don't laugh. From 2008  to 2018 there were no raises for anyone.) For all of us who work in this state government, we don't want to be bad or look bad. You could possibly not get any raise, if you've done nothing for a year.

    Rod

  • David.Poole wrote:

    In my team we put small tasks on a Trello Kanban board. This gives visibility of all those things that consume time but aren't a fit for a JIRA ticket.

    The cards from the DONE column are migrated at the end of the month onto a separate board with a column per month.

    This makes it visible to all what we are doing and retrospectively what we achieved.A naming convention allows us to associate these tasks with JIRA tickets where that is relevant. The manager can see where a team member is taking too much on and react accordingly

    Does your manager, or you, check the list when it's review time? Or do you summarize accomplishments? I could see this being an overwhelming amount of data after a month or two for a team.

  • Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    David.Poole wrote:

    In my team we put small tasks on a Trello Kanban board. This gives visibility ...

    David, I really like the idea of using Trello Kanban boards for tracking small tasks! I've never used Trello, so I've got to ask, is it reasonable in cost?

    It's a Kanban board, and there are many service doing this. Azure DevOps does this for free for <=5 people. Trello is also free for small groups. GitHub projects do this as well.

    https://trello.com/pricing

  • Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    Review time is important, so I take it seriously. But depending upon your situation its less important, than for others. I work in state government. As such I have no hope of increasing my raise, if I get one at all. (Don't laugh. From 2008  to 2018 there were no raises for anyone.) For all of us who work in this state government, we don't want to be bad or look bad. You could possibly not get any raise, if you've done nothing for a year.

    Sorry that's the case, Rod. I'd hope that government starts to get better over time. We certainly see it from customers in various states/fed departments, but not everywhere. Even without raises, though, good reviews can result in other perks or project. Of course, that usually depends on having a boss that is trying to do better in his/her/their department over time.

  • Once early in my career helping a manager turned out to be a very bad thing to do.

    This particular group manager (not my group) had a personal hygiene issue which was quite bad.  He would routinely walk downtown at noon to his favorite snack store, many times on very hot days.  When he returned, we would be aware from several offices away from his that he was back.

    Finally I arranged a meeting with the VP in charge of the IT department and politely made him aware of the problem.

    A few days later I was asked to come to my manager's office, where I was informed that I was being dismissed due to 'downsizing'.  Incidentally, I was the ONLY one downsized.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • skeleton567 wrote:

    Once early in my career helping a manager turned out to be a very bad thing to do.

    This particular group manager (not my group) had a personal hygiene issue which was quite bad.  He would routinely walk downtown at noon to his favorite snack store, many times on very hot days.  When he returned, we would be aware from several offices away from his that he was back.

    Finally I arranged a meeting with the VP in charge of the IT department and politely made him aware of the problem.

    A few days later I was asked to come to my manager's office, where I was informed that I was being dismissed due to 'downsizing'.  Incidentally, I was the ONLY one downsized.

    Oh, WOW! That's awful! Sorry that happened to you.

    Rod

  • Thanks,  Rod.  Another time helping my manager worked out very well for me.  In another 'downsizing' situation I had taken an early retirement offer and headed out to my Rocky Mountain cabin.   After about two months, I got a message asking if I would be interested in returning as a contract DBA for the company who were providing my original employer with contract workers.

    So we set up an arrangement by which I worked for my wife's company, she contracted out my services, I went back to my old office and settled in.   The first time reviews and salary increases came around I was passed over.  So I prepared a short document outlining what I had accomplished and the benefits that I provided  being back at work, proposed a new salary level with an increase of $6k annual, and asked for a meeting.

    As the meeting began, my boss laid my document out on his desk and said:  "I don't have any problem with this.  I'll arrange it".   So I worked another three years, technically for my wife's graphic design company, which raised her gross revenue right before she began negotiations to sell her company to her largest competitor.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • Getting the granularity right on the Trello board is a bit of an art.

    As we can filter the board on a number of attributes, including who took up the task, the monthly summary board is manageable.

    As an individual contributor it is useful. At the end of the current month the manager asks the team to summarize what was achieved.

    The board also helps prepare for team retrospectives.  One area it really helps is in determining whether a JIRA ticket was too big and should have been split into smaller stories. It also highlights vagueness in requirements to the product manager. The business think they've dispensed fine grained perfect clarity and the engineers are seeing "Alter the gravitational constant of the universe".

    No idea what the cost is because Office 365 & Atlassian products are part of an enterprise subscription

  • Our DBA team uses JIRA for both daily tasks and planned projects, so it's transparent what each of us is working on. We also have weekly team stand-up meetings which last about 1/2 hour and less formal weekly one-one meetings with our manager which can be 10 minutes or 1/2 hour depending on what's going on. So, we don't step into quarterly or yearly review meetings cold.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Eric, that sounds like you have really pretty good communications, and I suspect better than most.  Please pardon me for always being the skeptic.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

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