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Friend in Need....

My friend (yes?friend - It is not me!) has recently gone through a large department merger and on the face of it his newly assigned boss is fine.

However recently (I?m told) a boss from a similar internal IT department has started to assign tasks for him to do. Problem is that his new boss seems to think this is OK despite him now not having enough time to complete normally assigned tasks.

Please note that this new boss happens to be a newbie at the role and lacks any real leadership.

My friend has approached his boss and every time it is met with a blank response or no tangible outcome. He is now asking me for advice due to us working within the same department pre-merger (I left).

Any good ideas?

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Let the bosses handle it

by neillix In reply to Friend in Need....

I attended a management seminar years ago. Get your friend to put up a white board with 2 columns(things his boss wants done and the other IT boss's things to do. When his own boss comes to him with a request, make sure to add it to the list and ask him what prority would he like become? Then when his boss sees the number of items from the other boss, it should make him realize that he needs to talk to the other IT manager about work is assigning to your friend. It might be that your friend's boss really has no idea of the amount of stuff the other IT manager is dishing your friends way. And, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Good suggestion, add to that

by j.lupo In reply to Let the bosses handle it

the two bosses may have a dotted line and a solid line to the employee. Not uncommon with mergers. I am going through that too and have come to the conclusion that I don't have a manager. I am my own manager and just work with a lot of people giving me action items. I don't have a white board, but I put up a big sheet of Art Paper and hung it behind me, everytime I get an action item, I add it to the list. I am also putting it electronically, so that when people ask what I am working on, I can just bring it up. ;-)

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by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Good suggestion, add to t ...

Good call people. I will pass on the ideas without haste. I wonder if the whole office would end up with a whiteboard or similar behind each desk?

I do feel sorry for they guy however. It was things like this (plus many more) that brought on my reasons to leave.

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Get even...

by shamusoneil06 In reply to Good suggestion, add to t ...

Pull some office pranks on the offending boss; say, filling up his cubicle with 500 square feet of styrofoam popcorn. He'll get the hint and will appreciate your efforts to correct his errors in management.

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Been There, Done That

by roadmanjim In reply to Let the bosses handle it

Neillix is right on! I have used this strategy many times with much success. The underlying problem is that MOST bosses do not track subordinate's workload. So, set up the board and, when a new task comes in, ask your own boss to prioritize the latest task. The funny part is to watch his or her eyes light up at the workload. Good luck!

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I would also add time to complete

by jhahn0 In reply to Let the bosses handle it

I agree. Your friend needs to list all assigned task by manager and the time it will take to complete each of those tasks keeping in mind interruptions of the day-to-day tasks and making note of all the steps and other people required to complete the tasks.

Then he should meet with both bosses at the same time and ask them what order they want all the tasks completed. A time line should be created for when each task will be completed. Any new tasks that get assigned after this meeting need to be prioritized then. If a new task will delay a task assigned by the other manager, then the other manager needs to be notified then.

1. Give each manager a weekly status report. A simple project is green (on schedule), yellow (may be delayed), red (behind schedule) and what is left to do and when it will be done should suffice.
2. Meet with each manager individually regarding project status and if any tasks need to be reprioritized.

I do all the above with my one boss and meet with him once every two weeks. I have a lot of projects I work on and every week something new comes up either from him or from a coworker in the department. Meeting with him helps keep me on task with what he wants done.

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New Brooms

by david In reply to Friend in Need....

New Brooms usually sweep in a different manner & few of us like changes. It's also possible without knowing the persons involved, that the old boss was not up to much & the individual who thinks things are not so good now, wasn't pulling the weight that he maybe should have been doing for a long time.

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Friend in Need

by john.mcgill In reply to Friend in Need....

Whilst I now consult on business continuity and disaster recovery, I was for many years in operational management. It has been my working principal that if you cant manage your boss, you can manage your staff. Your friend has to learn this lesson fast. My sugestion would be the he forces his new "boss" to commit aggresively to hard deadlines for the work to be completed and in meeting these "demands" fails to be able to do important tasks for his first boss. Should not take long for his first boss to change the idea he obviously has that your friend is doing little.

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The power is at least for now with the new manager...

by rgouvea In reply to Friend in Need....

I see this as a new game. The new manager want things done. I would see if this new manager believes on Project Management and then I would use the tools like Project MS, etc. to show how busy your friend is and to achive the new objectives. About the old manager it seems that he wants to play low profile role just to keep his job (at least for a while). Observe him and try to understand if he is just playng it safe and just waiting an opportunity to have more power in the new company. Otherwise join the winners...

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MS Outlook's built-in tools

by techiemikee In reply to The power is at least for ...

MS Project is a great tool for scheduling projects but it may be a bit too much for the day to day stuff.
If you want to spend less time setting up the projects in software and more time working you can create tasks inside MS Outlook and then drag and drop them into your Caledar. If you guage your managers are the type to actually see what your workload is like, you could share your calendar and tasks with them in outlook. They may eventually get with the program(it's a longshot) and actually start e-mail tasks to, and even if they just compose an e-mail you can drag and drop that into the task as well.

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