Kramer vs Kramer

The reality of project management is simple. A project manager has a project he/she’s responsible for. The project can span across multiple teams, areas, resources, whatever you want to call them (just use the name managish enough). The responsibility of the manager is to deliver the project, in majority of cases within the given budget (manhours). The mythical man-month rule can be applied to deliver it faster by simply throwing more resources…

On the other hand, one may take a look at the teams and products. There’s one thing about team and product – they are bound and it’s quite interesting to see the cross-functional team delivering the whole product experience and simply being happy because of the created product. It’s a natural thing to be happy because of your own creation. We all know it: build the house, etc…

And here goes Kramers! Pulling the team from one to another, arguing about behavior only from his/her project point of view, trying to match the high-level goals and estimates and discussing who paid for the ice cream, I meant, who is responsible for providing time to learn a new technology or fixing this or that.

Kramers may think that they just fulfill some orders, or that they’ve been given some kind of a power over others, but the question which everyone should answer is how is Billy.

One thought on “Kramer vs Kramer

  1. Bjarne Stroustrup in one interview was asked a question what advice he has for young programmers. Among other things he responded “learn to communicate effectively in speech and in writing” [1]. Apparently this kind of soft skills are inherently part of our profession as programmers. What I want to convey here is that people differ. Differ in enormous number of ways and majority of us (them) do not even realize it. The mental model of the world in your colleague’s head might be a thorough inversion of yours one but he still function properly as human and even as technical employee.

    Actually I do not even fully understand your definition of ‘Krammer’. I cannot imagine what ‘team pulling’ you are talking about. But I suppose you mean something that hampers your technical effectiveness and motivation and generally does not make you happy. But the attitude of people allegedly described as ‘Krammers’ might not have been caused by their deliberately bad intentions. This is the way they see the world and chances are that even if in majority of things they are wrong, there can still be a few points of view that they get right.

    In such situations I am used to recall Leo Babauta’s concept of developing compassion habit [2]. Think about it. Try to be empathetic and compassionate about other people’s mindset. The concept of ‘Krammer’ is an artifact of your way of interpreting things, but this may not be the way the situation actually looks like. These other people just present completely different than your point of view. It is not their fault they are different from you, neither is your fault you are different from them. Try to listen them and understand them. In spite of all this try to learn from them. If they are wrong, tell them. But remember they might have discovered something you are not aware yet.

    [1] http://www.wired.com/2010/10/1014cplusplus-released/2/
    [2] http://zenhabits.net/selfless/

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