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They Don’t Understand My Job April 16, 2010

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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How many times have you heard (or thought) that?  How many times does a manager or supervisor have expectations or assignments that aren’t aligned with how the work actually gets done?

It may be unrealistic timelines or simply being unaware of the “off org-chart” communication, but whatever the situation, it needs to be addressed.  Why?  The status quo is simply not sustainable.  It puts a project or process at high risk of failure when managers don’t make the connection between a desired outcome and the day-to-day activities of the staff.  And it goes both ways; staff needs to understand how they directly and indirectly affect the organization’s profitability, reputation, and client relationships.

There is quite a movement afoot to address this concern by ensuring “transparency”.  That’s fine, but what are the recipients of that information doing with it?  If it’s knowledge for the sake of knowledge, it’s not providing any real value.  If staff clamors to see a closely-held firm’s books, they better be prepared to make some changes in their behaviors to improve them.

Management may not know what magic you perform to get the work done, but by closely tying the staff’s daily activities to the bottom line, there is greater understanding up and down the line of how those actions (tangible) can affect the relatively vague concept of profitability.

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