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  • #2250186



    by jimhauerscaz ·

    In today’s business world, certain management people have serious ‘control freak’ traits – causing a thwarting of initative, and bringing about lowering standards or possible achievement by creative invividu7als.

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    • #3275415

      Pot Kettle?

      by jamesrl ·


      I notice your title is IT Management. Are you talking about your peers, your bosses or both?

      Sure there are micromanagers. Some of them are new managers who haven’t really learned the job yet. Some are control freaks. Some don’t get any guidance from their bosses.

      In an ideal scenario, senior managements sets out broad objectives, and passes them down to the next level. The next level gets more specific, and passes them down and so on. In the end, the “worker bee” objectives should be traceable right up to the President’s objectives.

      If you follow this logic through, if everyone knows the what and why of the objectives, you should not need to micromanage someone to death, unless they are either an underperformer or someone new to the role.


      • #3215905


        by jim.frazier ·

        In reply to Pot Kettle?

        I worked for a guy who never gave you any direction as to what he wanted/needed from you. You basically left dangling and then at review time he came up with all this stuff that you had never heard of and were suppose to have accomplished. I no longer work for
        him but he is still around. Everyone that works for him is scared to death.

        My new boss always asks us (programmers) what
        needs to be done and then supports our direction. He is aware that we know a lot more about the topic at hand and is not threatened by it. The result is that our customers are happy with what we do and he
        gets the positive press because we work for him…We keep him up to date with what we are
        doing and why !

        It works great.

    • #3275811

      Get real

      by kiltie ·


      Not just todays world, it was in yesterdays world.
      It’s life, Office politics, whatever, learn to deal with it.

      • #3216003

        Control Freak — NOT

        by a1nut ·

        In reply to Get real

        I’m sure there are some control freaks out there but the main purpose of this in a person who has made it to management, is that the work is not getting done or not getting done right. I, for one, empower my people and let them make decisions as appropriate. However, there are some that need to be controlled because they don’t control themselves. That is the only time I micromanage…and it is not a fun thing to have to do, but you have to meet the objectives! I tell my staff…”You are either part of the problem or part of the solution”. The ones who want to be the problem get “special attention”.

      • #3218711

        Then Who’s The Clean-Up Batter

        by johnnysacks ·

        In reply to Get real

        Having to support and maintain bleeding edge ‘innovative’ crap that keeps on falling apart long after some shining star children have moved on is hardly my idea of a rewarding job. If a manager knows his sh!t and is justified in stomping some idiotic ‘innovation’ into the dirt where it belonged a minute after it was born, too damn bad. This is a business, not a techie play pen.

        On the other hand, there are some spineless Dilbert class idiot managers out there which I’m sure more than deserve the scorn this article heaps on them.

    • #3215976

      Piloting the guided missle

      by sr10 ·


      First line management of technical people is never easy, and with the destruction of middle management in many companies, it got harder. The manager is completely dependent on the people who report to her/him, but s/he is expected to have the same level of control over staff that a factory floor supervisor has. Often it’s like being a pilot of a guided missle: you have no real control over where the vehicle is going, but everyone expects you to, because you’re there.

      No, it doesn’t justify micromanaging, but I can certainly understand the desire to resort to that. The manager doesn’t want to crush the practitioner’s initiative, but the practitioner often directs that initiative toward the goals of the craft, while the goals of the business come in second. With the reduction in middle management, there are fewer people to coach the first-line managers how to handle this and more people breathing down their necks.

    • #3215966

      signs of the times

      by zen37 ·


      I find that some of that may be attributed to the notion of “be ready for change at a moments notice”. This has brought two things to the table.

      1. Managers don’t want to be precise with project objectives and specifications because they can change at any moment. To be able to change, you cannot commit too much.

      2. In order for changes to go through rapidly and efficiently, you need to be closely monitoring the work, making sure all the changes are done correctly. That can easily be taken for micro management.

      Times are changing constantly now and I for one am sick of it. Big wigs (if you pardon the pun) are so use to changing their minds on a whim and getting what they want that they don’t take into account all the trouble that it causes down the line. I wish we could go back to when someone asks for something, we build it, we give it to them and if it’s not what they wanted or needed, when that person did not do their research right. Of if things changed, well that person did not forecast correctly.

      Sometimes I fell like a puppet that has its strings handled by way too many puppeteers.

    • #3215890

      Sign of insecurity

      by darrell.jones ·


      It seems that gratuitous controlling comes with insecurity (usually well-founded). Sometimes it’s a reaction to an environment that demands too much or staff that can’t be trusted, but usually it’s a reflection of the manager’s own shortcoming. One bad side-effect of the latter is that new (especially peer) hirings are then supported or opposed depending on how non-threatening the prospective hire is. Then you have kind of a systemic dry-rot. Good luck with that! Hopefully people grow and change, or you can find another situation…

    • #3218846

      Not so much control but harrassment because of her ego.

      by digicruiser ·


      What does one say when you have a “boss” who likes to make decisions on little information and believes it to be true?

      Her “control” comes from the times when she thinks she has something over you and harrasses without hearing the real truths! In this South Australian government department, she has done this to many whom are at various levels within the organisation.

      Passing over databases from my directorate to the main IT section, I handed over documentation, passwords and so on so IT can do a decent job on my old databases – hehe they seem to have trouble doing it to their own software… This boss has tried to “catch me out” deliberately and this time she decided that I didn’t provide passwords for my databases etc… She waited until the last day of my holidays and rang to suggest I’ve done something wrong. Not the way to pleasantly end a holiday, I was told that I resisted in providing blah blah to IT before my holidays -this was utter rubbish. I told her I did provide those things but said “Oh I know you knew you didn’t do…” – this boss started to hand me a letter with all sorts of garbage on it which was to be placed into my “file”. During this time I was recording the conversation on the Digital recorder. Later I rang IT and told them that “I was going to complain to the Chief Exec about this boss and I needed them to deny or agree that I had provided the stuff. They did have all the stuff but the boss didn’t ask them if they did. This boss was going to get it – but she did get an E-mail from IT to pass on what I asked and she was so “gentle” the next day but never got an apology”. Been a little more careful ever since but…

      This is one game she played onto many and she is very much a “Control freak” if she believes in something she can presumably get you on. But she stays because the Execs like her work output and the way she can “control” people – good or bad.

      Not bad for a State Government department! Now I know what Tom Sanders felt like in “Disclosure”!

      • #3218744

        Bad Boss

        by sentdata ·

        In reply to Not so much control but harrassment because of her ego.

        Oh I know where you?re coming from! I once had a Project lead sit with me all day on a problem (She had no expertise at all in the database system.). After I finally got the problem fixed she kicked back my time sheet saying I did not spend that muck time on the issue! I went into her office and had to remind her that she sat with me all day! Bad leaders get in the way. Great leaders stand aside and let their people do the work that they do best.

    • #3218530

      it’s not that big a deal

      by wrlang ·


      If a person knows their job they should need little to no supervision.
      This is what businesses really mean when they say a better educated workforce ? employees that don?t need direct supervisors.

      There are several ways to deal with it.
      Talk it over with your boss and come to an agreement on the level of control they need.
      Sit back a whine about it.
      Keep moving around until you find the proper level of supervision.
      Be your own boss.

      Once you?ve been out in the workforce a while you come to the realization that the people making the decisions are subject to the whims of others like customers and shareholders. The level of thrashing employees need to do between projects is a direct indicator of the competence of the management of the company and their ability to plan.

      There are two types of managers.
      1. A project manager that has people reporting to them.
      2. A people manager that has responsibility for projects.

      The people managers are always the best, the enable their employees to do their job and foster communications that help the manager intervene when necessary. But unfortunately they amount to about 1% of the management workforce. The rest are all task masters, demanding stuff gets done but not enabling anyone to get it done. These are the bosses that constantly whine about projects and deadlines and get no real help and then whine about that too. Quality suffers and customers/shareholders may be satisfied, but not really happy. If everyone around you is incompetent, maybe you should take a look in the mirror.

      Employees that want to ply their artistic side should become artists and get out of the traditional business world. Otherwise, you just have to find someplace that operates within your comfort zone. Employees who really don?t want to work should fall off to the welfare system and make room for the responsible people who add to the GDP.

    • #3218336

      It’s true but…

      by tachyon ·


      Yes, there are a lot of micromanagers out there but to be fair, the real blame falls sqarely on the HR dapartment.
      My company does some business management/process consulting in with our IT consulting, and the number one recommendation I find myself giving managers is “Hire good people, and let them do their job.”

      To expand on that, have people with actual knowledge/skills in the area you are hiring be part of the potential employee vetting process. Don’t fall for letters and certifications. Setup real skill tests. Make a trial period in the employment contract of 30, 90, and 180 days if necessary.
      Make the employee fully aware of your company’s ethics, and business processes. Give them a budget and goals.
      Don’t tell them what to use to solve problems. Tell them the problems you need solved and work to help _them_ find and implement a solution.
      There’s lots more of course, but this is the short version.
      This all applies up (and down) the line too. If you have management that is lousy at their job, this again is HR’s fault. They should have noticed the problem, and given the offending manager training, counseling, or a pink slip.
      Unfortunately in this screwed up, Political correctness polluted world, you can’t even hardly reprimand employees (for the right reasons) let alone fire them, without being sued. This is why you need the probationary periods in employment contracts that allow for ending of the contract at (or during) those periods for ANY reason. And make them sign it.
      Weed out the chaff, then treat the wheat well.

    • #3217328

      Mind the transition

      by darrell.jones ·


      One other reason managers over-control is when they’re newly promoted geeks and not used to the new gig. When I managed people and was under stress I reverted to technician mode and sometimes treated the technical staff as extensions of myself. In the short run it worked great; things got done exactly how I wanted them done more often than not. In the big picture, though, it bred some amount of resentment. Knowing when to not sweat the small stuff and knowing when to nudge people rather than control is not easy for some of us.
      If your boss is an ex-peer, maybe they need some help making the transition and you can talk about what you each need.
      If not, I notice a job site advertising just to the right of this text box…

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