Tuesday, 1 February 2011

And who's going to manage it then?

How many times have you heard that plaintive cry? The desperate need for management - for projects to be planned, organised, set out in graphs and spreadsheets?

At the same time have you ever asked what it is precisely that managers - and especially project managers - actually do? You have? Well this thought is for you!

Most of the time the prime purpose of management can be defined as follows:

  • Someone to pass the decision-making buck to - "above my pay grade you know, guv!"
  • The person or people to blame - "not my fault, mate, just doing what management say, y'know!"
  • Someone to compile reports, write memos and interface between owner and worker

Perhaps - in this interconnected age - we're starting to move away from management. Or rather moving to self-administration and self-management. The organisational tools at our fingertips don't just obviate the need for secretaries and filing clerks, they will abolish the need for managers. So long, of course, as we're prepared to share the decisions and take responsibility that is!

Surely an experienced, knowledgeable engineer, teacher or social worker should be encouraged to carry on engineering, teaching or social working rather than - so as to extract value from experience - forced to make decisions for others, take the blame and write progress reports so as to earn an extra buck or two?

I guess it's time to build the B-Ark then!


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