||Oracle Tips by Burleson
One sub-team in a company supports data
transfers to and from other companies in a highly-regulated
industry. There are tremendous amounts of data passing back and
forth on a continual basis and the workload is very demanding. This
group has been understaffed for years, and the manager had not been
afforded the opportunity to augment the staff with additional
The change management system that feeds the
work to the manager’s attention for this team has an upfront
approval process of which the manager is not a member. The projects
and tasks are approved without any consideration given to the
current workload; thus, no strategic project management exists. The
target dates for each project and task are determined in a vacuum,
exclusive of other work in the pipeline.
This can quickly become a major problem for
managing workload and meeting target dates when the work just comes
in on top of everything else currently scheduled or waiting to be
started. Many projects are defined as priority one, so how does a
manager prioritize these except for working towards completing those
that have the most imminent requested completion dates? Throw the
unplanned problems and emergency requests that come in on a regular
basis into the mix and this becomes a very difficult situation for
quantifying, measuring, and tracking employee commitments because
the commitments continually change in an unplanned manner.
Even in such a volatile environment, setting
specific dates by which tasks should be completed is completely
appropriate and useful. At least the attempt can be made to push out
the commitment dates and change priorities if necessary. Attention
should be given to the level or complexity of work assignments. An
IT employee who regularly works on the most complex tasks or assumes
a leadership role should be recognized for these efforts.
In these situations, it is understood that
such technical leaders may, at times, produce a lesser quantity of
work as a tradeoff for managing a much more difficult project.
Balancing measures for the quality and quantity of work plus
over-and-above contributions are a good foundation to gauge
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"