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Work-content dissatisfaction

By toughsoftenger ·
This organization recruit enginners keeping in mind certain type of projects, especially more techno-oriented.

Some time to begin with & sometime after completion of the project at hand employee is made to work on mundane project. Disillusioned employees start looking for another job.

Whereas company eventhough strategically look for certain projects by sheer business compulsiona have to acept the less desired projects also.

What would you suggest to solve this dilema

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by stress junkie In reply to Work-content dissatisfact ...

I would first suggest that you learn English. Then learn to write clearly.

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Share the mundane and the fun stuff.

by royhayward In reply to Work-content dissatisfact ...

This is the case with every job I have ever seen. The orriginal intent of the business is to do some cool stuff that gets the heart pumping and the juices flowing.

But as time goes on some jobs are not as fun, and there is a temptation to give those jobs that need doing but are less engageing to someone else.

The danger is two fold, either that employee will grow to hate the job and leave, or he will fail to do the job completely or well.

This is a reallity that we must all deal with as professionals. But the solution is as managers to make sure we don't stick some poor engineer in the corner like a mushroom. We need to pull the team together, recognize that there are some jobs that we need to share, as a cost of having a job, and share those among all of the team so that no one is stuck with the job that everyone hates to do.

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Content over intent

by toughsoftenger In reply to Work-content dissatisfact ...

I do agree for the poor English. Thanks for the feedback.

Now if you can look at the intent of the question, can I expect something relevant to the question's intent?

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I agree with royhayward

by stress junkie In reply to Content over intent

Every job has its fun parts and its boring parts. If everyone on the team gets a share of each then the job should remain interesting and rewarding for all of the team members. No individual can expect to have all of their time spent on challenging and interesting projects. Someone has to do the routine stuff. It's only fair to share.

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Can it be defined in the process?

by toughsoftenger In reply to I agree with royhayward

Does this mean that the onus is on the Project Manager to balance between the team members? aspirations/interests & available work?

It seems that an employee agitation increases if he is not involved in the process of change in the project allocation. Do you feel that if the employee is involved before decision-making, s/he will be more willing to contribute positively in spite of the fact that s/he really does not enjoy that work?

Will it help to share such possibility up front at the time of recruitment?

Can it be defined in the process of 'work reallocation' as well as 'recruitment'?

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Both manager and worker have responsibility

by stress junkie In reply to Can it be defined in the ...

The manager should do his/her best to work with employees' interests and to be fair about assigning work.

On the other hand the worker has to realize that they are not being paid to be exclusively engaged in fun stuff. All of the work at hand needs to be done and the worker has to do his/her share of the boring stuff.

A good manager will try to work with the team members' preferences but at the end of the day the manager assigns work and the worker does the work that they are assigned. At some point if the worker doesn't like it then they can be replaced. The worker doesn't tell the manager what he/she (the worker) will or won't do.

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With high attrition rate the issue becomes complex

by toughsoftenger In reply to Both manager and worker h ...


Because of high attrition rate replacing the employee is a costly affair in terms of loosing the training cost, replacement cost & mainly the loss of context (knowledge about the project)

There is no doubt that the manager has to get things done, my question is whether involving employee the 'work-allocation' can make the change more palatable? If yes, how can we ensure that it happens?

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See Wayne M's post, PM is ultimately responsible

by stress junkie In reply to With high attrition rate ...

In addition to the excellent insight in Wayne M's post entitled "Yes, PM is ultimately responsible" I would add the following.

I was fortunate enough in one contract job to work for one manager that had excellent leadership skills. Given that I held about forty contract jobs that is very telling about the managers that I've met. This one manager really understood leadership. What is important about this experience is that this manager was not particularly friendly. He was not everyone's buddy. He set his expectations for each person very high. He didn't accept less than 100% effort every day from every member of his team. Yet he was the best loved manager by all of the team members that I've ever met.

I think that some of the reasons that he was successful were that he was reasonable, he let you know what he expected and he communicated with his people about their successes and their failures, he didn't hold grudges, he didn't play politics or favorites, and everything that he expected was reasonable. Yes, being reasonable is worth listing twice. :-) When his people came to work they knew that when they did well it would be mentioned. If they did poorly that also would be mentioned and then dropped. He understood when factors created dilemmas. Basically he was fair and reasonable.

I only hope that if I find myself managing people that I will do as well as this person.

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Only pin pointing the responsibility is not sufficient

by toughsoftenger In reply to With high attrition rate ...

Certainly, PM is ultimately responsible. Part of my question is how can we make it happen? It is a common phenomenon that one knows what is good but s/he works contrary to it or works inconsistently. Like I know communication is good for keeping the work environment healthy but often at pressing time my involuntary response is to cut on the communication. Now I have specified in Process of Process Management Cycle at the near completion ?resort to more frequent but short meetings?

I think in this case organization can include ?specifics? in the relevant processes/sub-process i.e. recruitment & work reallocation to deal with these issues. In absence of it the processes will be person driven, a charismatic leader will do it in her own style & likewise. Allowing person style there must be some components specified in the process, e.g?

Performance Appraisal:

PM in his One-On-One interaction apart from the performance related discussion initiates a dialogue on employee?s interests & upcoming projects/modules etc. Keeps it documented for future references.

Work Reallocation:

A high level team of PMs discusses (based on the employee interest, skill sets) amongst them about the possibilities. Do initial matching & put the possible options on intranet for employee responses. The limitations to put a person on his/her desired project are made clear up front. The team short-lists & discusses with employees & then finalizes the work-allocation. The decision is discussed & explained to each employee with the performance expectations.


It is made clear to the would be employee that although ?xxxxx? is strategic area of work for this company, due to business compulsions different projects do come-up & you should be ready to work on less desired project or modules.

What do you think?

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Yes, PM Is Ultimately Responsible

by Wayne M. In reply to Can it be defined in the ...

The Project Manager has to have ultimate authority for assigning work, but this does not imply that he cannot or should not delegate some of the scheduling and assignment to the project team members.

One team managed approach that can be tried is Scrum (, which involves team members selecting their own tasks. One word of caution, though, left to their own devices, people can get caught in a rut or be too adventuresome. If the project risk allows it, the project manager should assign some tasks that an individual has never done before. This is job growth. If the project has a high degree of risk, though, the project manager may elect not to let someone inexperienced try something new.

My advice to a team member is to have some one on one discussions with your project manager concerning tasks you would like to take on. The project manager may not be able to assign this type of work immediately, but now that he is aware of your desires, he can steer some future work your way. The first step, though, is to talk to the project manager. He will not know what you would like to do unless you tell him.

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