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Micromanagement is bad, “macorempowerment” is the best

Micromanagement is bad, “macorempowerment” is the best. Oh, god God!

Well, while I agree micromanagement is not suited in every scenario and with every individual, there are times when we need to micromanage. I can think of a few examples – a developer is barely starting his career and he is unsure of how often he can ask for support from other team members or he feels like he is abusing his colleagues time. He has no idea how long he should be stuck before he gets in a loop and can’t unblock himself and becomes frustrated. Some micromanagement is actually beneficial to him. You can help him yourself, you can check on his progress, you can ask for support from the team or a specific individual, you can point him to the right documentation, etc.


Do we need to ask every team member every other hour what are they doing, what is their progress and when they complete their tasks? Of course not, it is time consuming, frustrating both for the manager and for the team members. It is not even useless, it is damaging.


Now this empowerment, while it makes sense in theory, I am not sure how many managers in our industry actually understand it. It is, like most concepts, not one size that fits it all.


I have seen a few times, in a few organizations a strange example of empowerment – a team is empowered to deal with all the issues in their way, regardless of where they come from, while management sits back “empowering” them in their struggle with no support even when specifically requested. Not even showing up most of the time and on the rare occasions when they do show up is to question or challenge the progress.


I am sure this is no way of empowering people to anything. I am appalled when I hear this is a way of project/program/product or team management – this is empowering. No it is not!


Not being involved and not helping to unblock the team, to follow-up and escalate, to find resource for what is missing in the team, that is not empowering the team. That is making sure they leave or stop caring. I see it more damaging then micromanagement when you don’t need it.


How are you empowering your team or how would you like your manager to empower you?

When do you think it makes sense to micromanage or be micromanaged?


Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash