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How can one Manager impact the team and the project?

 

I worked with several managers during the span of my career with SAP implementations. I have seen managers with various behaviors like Leadership skills, managerial skills, communication skills, Technical skills, Coaching and mentoring skills. I am fortunate to work under many exceptionally good managers and few dysfunctional managers.

 

Let’s start with my experience with an excellent Manager. This manager is very assertive, delegate’s responsibility wisely, approachable, takes team members to tasks and expects nothing but quality deliverables. This manager gives team and team members due credit, coaches and mentors them and the end goal is to make them a seasoned software professionals.

 

 

  • This manager empowers the team members and encourages team members to take initiative and calculated risks. Hold team accountable in delivering quality work products with end to end solution in mind. An example – Make sure all the requirements and gathered properly, Functional/Technical specs completed, work with testing team and UAT Business tester and make sure the work products are  accurately tested and deployed seamlessly with minimal or no post production issues.

 

  • Extends help and makes cross work streams accountable to make the project successful. Focus here is on integration with other modules and other software packages.

 

  • Lets the team members speak up and give status during project status meeting and other project related forums.  Make sure the team members are getting visibility for the work that they have done.

 

  • Encourages team member to get trained both externally and internally. A big proponent of on the jobs training. Every senior member of the team should have one to two protégé to Coach/mentor and to make them develop their expertise.

 

  • Teams and team members are recognized for their efforts and given opportunity to take up challenging tasks

 

  • Honest, impartial and Trust worth. If team members make mistakes and asks for help this manager jumps and extends all possible help.

 

  • A true functional and/or technical guru who can fix pretty much anything in SAP (May be other systems too) and was always willing to share knowledge and develop the team.

 

  • Encourages team to do what is best for the project and not to take short cuts even if it means delaying few deliverables.

             

 

 

Well, I can keep adding more and more items. Personally, I learnt a lot from this Manager and it helped me ever since.

 

Then I got an opportunity to work under a dysfunctional manager. This manager had none of the above qualities.

 

Well… I will capture it in my next blog ….. What I experienced with this dysfunctional Manger.  For now… I will leave it with a positive tone with my experience with an excellent manager and the positive synergy and team work created under this exceptional manager which resulted in Great Team work, high morale and a successful implementation.

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  1. Michelle Crapo
    First I disagree with some of this post.  So I get to put my debate forward.  I love a good debate.

    1.  Make sure all the requirements and gathered properly, Functional/Technical specs completed, work with testing team and UAT Business tester and make sure the work products are  accurately tested and deployed seamlessly with minimal or no post production issues.

    I would say that this is the job of the technical / functional person.  The manager should be able to assume that they can do their job without micro-managing every step of a project.

    2.  Focus here is on integration with other modules and other software packages.

    I would say that is the job of the business process analysis.  They have to know / understand the integration points.  The manager shouldn’t have to do that job.

    3.  A true functional and/or technical guru who can fix pretty much anything in SAP.

    I would argue that they just need team members that know the technical / functional side of things.  A truly good manager will listen to all sides of a technical problem from her employees, and then make a decision based upon input and / or some searches of her own.

    Now on to some of my ideas of a good manager:

    1.  Let’s you work on your assigned work without micro-managing.  IE does not have to or want to understand every project that you are working on.  She would understand the deadlines, and help if you said you wouldn’t make them.  I’m assuming here that you had a reason not to make them.  For example requirement changes, other project deadlines, a production problem…  The list goes on.

    2.  Stands behind you.   For example again you are not going to meet your deadlines.  There is a good reason.  So she doesn’t blame you.  She simply works with the project manager to find a solution.

    3.  Steps in when needed.  If there is a basic disagreement on how, what, when something should be done, she will make the decision.  She is strong enough to stand behind her decision.  (After listening to all sides.)

    4.  She listens.  She does not make decisions without hearing all sides of the issue.

    And the list goes on…  Interesting blog.  I think we all have ideas on what a good manager is.  Hopefully our managers know what we are thinking.  I know part of my review process is to give my manager constructive feedback.  And I do.  I guess that’s another part of being a good manager – able to take constructive feedback without penalizing you.

    BR,

    Michelle

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    1. S Munagavalasa Post author
      Thank You Michelle
      Your debate is very informative and you captured very good points.

      I totally agree with your perspective of a good Manager.
      When I started working on the blog, I started with generic qualities of a good manager. But then I realized that it may make the blog more interesting if I capture qualities specific to one Manager. This Manager demonstrated these qualities again and again. The team never stopped praising this Manager for these specific qualities. In addition to these, there are many other good qualities, but these specific qualities stand out.
      To start with, no Manager is perfect. As time progress these Good Managers learn from their mistakes, solicit feedback from their Managers, Peers and their direct reports.  As time goes, these good managers morph into role models.
      When I said “A true functional and/or technical guru”, this manager listened to all sides of technical/functional problem and was able to QA the work and provides excellent solution.  This manager resolved many show stopper issues and pretty much everyone from the Global project team approach this Manager. I am not generalizing that every Manager should have this quality. This was one of the outstanding qualities that I observed from this Manager.
      Any SAP implementation (or any software implementation) success depends on the team members as well as Managers. In one specific global SAP implementation, this Manager made a huge difference.  Again this is my perspective and what each individual team members perceive a good quality varies widely.

      I too like a good debate and constructive criticism. This is when we learn and get insight into others ideas/perspectives. Thanks again for your constructive feedback and hope our SDN friends add their point of view as well.

      Best Regards,
      Srini

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  2. Dewang TRIVEDI
    Well its nice that srini you have put in your efforts to bring the topic on Blogs …

    I would like to add a few points on the same :

    1. Stop micro managing – Michelle’s point , i too agree to the same . i have experienced managers simply keep on peeping in to your work or the activities that you are engaged into , which sometimes irritates . I would rather say a manager should try to adopt the approach of result orientation rather than constantly following up.

    2. Good temprament – This also plays a crucial role in deliverables , have seen managers loosing their cool when the client shouts . managers should posses good analytical skills and should try to keep his team motivated . i have personally experienced this when there were some critical issues and challenges and a few words of my manager ” Dev you can do it man ” .. motivated me to fight back …

    3. Sharp evaluator … I mean the manager should be a good evaluater of the work that is being carried out and what is the effort that is required in doing so … this is the most crucial quality i feel a manager should possess , unless and untill he is able to evaluate the efforts, skillset required etc.

    4. Trust your people : A manager should have full trust on his team and their efforts and should strive to make them more comfortable in doing their work ….

    5. Listen to your people : Engaging your self in what your team is upto , what are their feedback on current engagements . Guide or mentor your team to achieve the best …

    I guess the list would go on and on …. moreover these are some of the points which i can think of as of now …. I feel the members who are actually engaged in PM – Project management would be able to comment further …

    Cheers ,

    Dewang !!!

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    1. S Munagavalasa Post author
      Thank You Dewang for sharing your view point on a Good Manager.

      All five points you outlined are very true. Thanks again for taking time and providing your perspective.

      Best Regards,
      Srini

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  3. amit lal
    I think,

    >A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.

    > The BEST secret of successful manager is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven’t made up their minds.

    Amit Lal

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