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temporary replacement a non productive manager

By Netpro2551 ·
I am about to take a temporary assignment (about a month) to see if I can resolve productivity problems with a small field support team (7 techs)in a very large company. I was offered the team lead's position, but am not interested in relocating. The current team lead is reportedly a major part of the problem. I imagine that I will be seen as the hated "Pro from Dover".

I have been very effective in the past at motivating small teams although not in this short a period and usually from a position as a peer rather than a consultant. I expect that I will be empowered to retain the current team lead or replace him at my discretion and yet I know that the reality may be a somewhat more lengthy process.

Does anyone have any experience in a similar situation?

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been there and done this in the past

by TechPro34yrs. In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

First, find the exact point of the problem with the lead, also ask every Techs that's on this job his own opinion on what the problem is. Then hold a meeting with all techs and the lead together. Be extremely honest and up front. Tell them that you are not the head hunter they've been waiting for, but you are there to help change the productivity level. Tell them they have one week to work as a TEAM to change the level of productivity and that after that one week you will be re-evaluating the situation. If any one on the team shows signs of being left behind or comes up short of the goals, you want to know why they came up short. Offer to help that person resolve the short fall and absolutely give it your best shot and make sure the whole team knows this and only after that if the person doesn't change the way he was doing things then that person will be let go. Make sure again that the whole team knows this. It shows them you are not hiding anything from them and that you made every effort to help with the situation and that you didn't want to come in and chop heads as soon as you got there and it also shows that you really do what to help with the difficulties. With some people, they just won't change or get it. Then you have no choice but to do what you have to do for the betterment of all. Good Luck and let me know how it went.

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Past Future Present

by shannyhanm In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

There may be some simple answers to the morale question.

It could be misperceptions, management interaction style, distribution of work, additional staffing needs, or any of the things that tend to bring down staff morale.

It is a good bet that each staff member will have their opinions as to the cause.

Don't get caught in the past, it is good to gain a frame of reference. Practice the art of future conversation. Past - Future - Present

Past - lessons learned
Future - identify goals and objectives for success
Present - action plan to get there

my 2 cents...

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This is their past, not yours.

by VirtualGardener In reply to Past Future Present

Its all well and good to say don't get caught in the past when you are an outsider coming into this situation with no knowledge of the past. For these people, this is their life. The past is important to them. They want resolution, not cute catch phrases. Asking them to forget the past will just devalue their feelings. In essence you are saying their feelings don't matter. HR always wants to "Forget the Past" and "Move into the Future" because that is the easiest way for HR. Reality is that people don't forget and they don't want to forget. Their complaints are probably valid and saying we just want to concentrate on the future is just another way of saying to them "You aren't important". This person was hired to manage. If he/she can't do that effectively, get rid of him/her and hire someone who can. Problem solved. Why so much effort to save this person his/her job? Would the company put this much effort into a low level tech who couldn't perform up to his/her job duties/expectations? I don't believe this is a one time or first time occurance or it wouldn't have been escalated to this level. Finish it, don't prolong the problem.

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forget the past?

by shannyhanm In reply to This is their past, not y ...

Who said forget the past? It has value, just don't get lost in it. Thirty days is not a lot of time to rejuvenate a broken team. Obviously, someone feels this lead is worth saving or else they wouldn't go through the process of having an expert come in.

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I am so excited

by Netpro2551 In reply to forget the past?

As if it isn't enough to get great and continuing feedback on this question, now I am officially an expert. Don't argue-I read it on the internet. ;&gt

Can i show your comment to my boss?

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Performance can be self correcting!

by PMo1 In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

I recently took over a project that was out of control .PM had been let go. I had to make further changes (one team lead replaced, new resources brought in, change of direction and upper management expectations). However by coming in and doing an assessment with the team of what was right/wrong, their productivity jumped straight away even prior to the making further decisions and changes. It seems that mismanagement and sense of their own efforts being wasted and project goals getting nowhere fast had caused most of the drop off in productivity. They were pointedly unhappy with the present situation and it was affecting the teams? performance. Just being seen to do something about it was enough to get things started again. Sometime it?s just as simple as removing the foot from the brakes to let it fly. Good Luck.

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The time limit is not on you, it's on HIM.

by eagle38 In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

The Lead is not worth saving if he is adversely affecting the performance of his entire department (of 7 techs) because he is the direct cause of their poor performance and morale. The Lead is responsible for his team?s/dept?s performance, even more so if he is CAUSING their collectively poor performance. You?re being hired to take the ?hit? for getting this ?lead? being terminated, if in fact he is the cause of the problem. As a prior poster indicated, a ?politically correct? seminar is not going to change the way a person is, especially if the person is just plain ?bad- with people. He?s probably been that way for a long time, if not most or all his life. After talking frankly, but encouragingly to everyone privately, letting them know you are there to help them all do better, and help them KEEP their jobs, take the time required to get All their input one on one, including their duties, and any issues they have which they see as preventing them from performing their jobs. See what everyone thinks of the problem and what he or she thinks the solutions would be. Check the information you received from the team, with the information obtained from meeting with the lead in question. Work with each and every individual as they do their jobs to confirm what is going on and the ?facts? of the problem(s) as detailed by everyone in your private meetings. Up to here, this would take 2 weeks max, probably a week and a half. If there are logistical, procedural, or other technical issues, they should be easy to find. If indeed all ?evidence- indicates the lead IS the problem, you don?t have 30 days to fix their problems, HE has 2 weeks MAX to fix HIS problems regardless of where they originated, at home, no hugs from mommy, or whatever. At this point, a very direct ?chat? with the team lead would be required to inform him how much time he has to fix HIS problem, and show him how the information you obtained from HIM turned out to be ?faulty?. Suggest he take a week off to sort things out, get those hugs from Mommy, stop beating the cat, and get his attitude adjusted on his own. If the prospect of losing his job doesn?t straighten him out, then he doesn?t deserve to keep it, especially since as team leader, he has been the direct cause of his company?s problems with his team because HE has adversely affected HIS team. After (and IF) he returns (your time constraints are now on HIM), it should be easy to determine from working with the team members and having private, and friendly closing interviews with everyone (but the lead) to determine whether he has turned into an ?seething? introvert with attitude problems he?s choosing to HIDE (until you?re gone), or whether he has taken his last shot at saving his job, fixing his attitude, and succeeded at it. Most people can tell when someone is ?nice?, and sincere; because the sincere and ?nice? person makes the people they work with feel good about working with them. Frankly, you?re being hired to take the ?hit? for getting this person fired, so that everyone else at the company can live peaceably afterwards, and prevent anyone from being subject to ?reprisals? and bad feelings when this person gets fired, which frankly, is probably LONG overdue. It?s up to you to pull the trigger, because no one else wants to. Doing the above, should give you the information and the ammo you need to justify whether you need to pull the trigger or not. This is HIS last chance, and you don?t have the time limit, he does. Hey, maybe you?ll luck out, and it will turn out he is really just incompetent at being a tech, and thus quite unqualified to LEAD his tech team and you can get rid of that ?lead? on that basis alone. I doubt it though.

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no way jose

by ansonrah In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

i realize i'm writing two weeks after your post, and so probably too late, but i have been in those shoes. unless they're paying huge and u intend to not use them as a reference, i'd pass. 30 days is risky to show results, the "pro from dover" is an obstacle to overcome in those 30 days, and so is firing the doofus.
write back and let me know what happened- and good luck!

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Get rid of the existing problem.

by ITManager175 In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

First thing I would do is remove the problem manager. If the company is calling you in and specifically telling you the manager is the problem then he/she has to go.

This action will empower yo to take control of the current work force.
They might not like it at first but if you are as good as you say then it should not be a problem.

Good Luck!

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What did you decide to do? Are you there yet?

by VirtualGardener In reply to temporary replacement a n ...

I see the original posting was 7-12-04. Since it is now 7-29, I can only assume you are already in the new location. How is it going?

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