There is only one thing you need to do to keep a project manager happy: Tell them how long it takes!
If you think you will be done in three hours, tell them! If you think you will be done in three days, tell them! If you don’t know if it will take between three and five days, tell them! If your original estimate does not hold, tell them! If the task is to large or fuzzy to estimate, tell them! If you don’t have a clue, get one or get yourself another job! If they think your estimates are to large, tell them to do it themselves, then, get yourself another job!
The main thing to be aware about with project managers is: They don’t produce anything of value! No matter how much they belive that their status reports and powerpoint slides are progress, they aren’t, they show progress. This is why they are happy when they know how long you will take to complete a task; it makes them believe that they are in control.
Does this mean that project managers are useless? Not at all! An invalueble project manager can make the difference between a failing project and a successful one. So, what separates a invalueble project manager from a useless one?
- An invalueble PM asks you when you will be done; a useless one tells you when you have to be done.
- An invalueble PM asks you what he can do to help; a useless one why you are not done.
- An invalueble PM shares everything; a useless one shares as little as possible.
- An invalueble PM takes responsibility for a failing project; a useless one blames the team.
- An invalueble PM gives the team credit for success; a useless one takes credit himself.
- An invalueble PM cares about the team and the project; a useless one about himself.
- An invalueble PM inspires the team; a useless one makes the team indifferent.
- An invalueble PM has a happy team; a useless one a miserable team.
- An invalueble PM knows that he is not invalueble; a useless one thinks he is.
No matter what kind of PM you have. Tell them how long it takes! works.