engineering management

Management Myth 24: People Don’t Need External Credit

“Robert, do you have a minute?” Cheryl, the development manager, stood at her director’s door. “Sure, let me save this.” Robert stopped what he was doing. “You look worried. Come on over and let’s sit at the visitors table. This looks serious.” “Well, it is. I’m not sure how to say it, so I’ll just …

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Management Myth 23: You Can Manage Any Number of People as a Manager

“Cindy, I need to add three more people to your team.” Patrick, the CTO, leaned in the doorway. He turned, about to walk away. “Wait a sec. We need to discuss this. You don’t get to drop that bombshell and leave. Why do you want me to hire more people?” Cindy looked concerned. “No, I …

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Management Myth 22: If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working

“James, I need to talk to you about Bill.” Susanne shut the door and sat down in the visitor chair. “OK, what’s up?” James stopped typing at his computer. He walked to his visitor table and sat down. “I just walked by Bill’s office. He’s leaning back in his chair. I could swear he’s snoring!” …

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Management Myth 21: It’s Always Cheaper to Hire People Where the Wages Are Less Expensive

“George is on his offshoring rampage again,” Cindy said as she slumped down in Ted’s visitor chair. Ted saved his document and turned around. “Oh? Want to tell me about it?” “I need more testers for the feature teams we’re starting, right? I told him. I showed him the project portfolio and the projects we …

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Management Myth 20: I Can Compare Teams (and It’s Valuable to Do So)

Barry bustled into Sam’s office. “Hey Sam, I need to see how these teams are doing— compared to each other. How do you compare teams?” “I don’t compare teams,” said Sam. “Why are you trying to compare teams?” “So I can tell who’s being more productive and who’s slacking off,” Barry replied. “But I thought …

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Management Myth 16: I Know How Long the Work Should Take

Sally, the project manager, strode confidently into her meeting with John, the CIO. She’d reviewed the roadmap with the product owner and had discussed the risks with the project team. She was sure, based on the first few iterations, that the project was off to a good start. Sure, she knew that projects rarely stayed …

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Management Myth #19: Management Doesn’t Look Difficult From the Outside, So It Must Be Easy

“Hey, Johnny, what’s Sheryl doing? She’s been in meetings the last week. She’s only come out for our one-on-ones. I’ve been trying to catch her. I need to ask her some questions about how to give feedback to Cathy about this problem.” Terry pointed to his architecture picture. “I know this architecture is not going …

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