Being a diligent project manager is a quality, just like being detail-oriented is an advantage in most professions. Over-diligence, just like perfectionism, is desirable in some situations, while in all others over-diligence becomes an obstacle in the way of getting things done.
Micromanaging means over-supervising each task that the team members need to complete, not delegating tasks, and, ultimately, not trusting the team members and their competencies.
Micromanaging is not bad essentially. It is just a very inefficient, and thus costly, way of managing people to achieve the desired outcome. Micromanagement is actually useful in some situations, such as when an inexperienced team member needs to complete a task that would be too risky to not complete perfectly, or when an employee has demonstrated that he or she cannot be trusted. Micromanagement, to some extent, may even be useful in the early stage of a project.
In most other situations, micromanagement frustrates everyone involved, and hurts the project. It steals the project manager’s time that should be spent on motivating the team and keeping the project on track. Micromanagement undermines the team’s morale and impedes the project’s progress.
Are you Micromanaging?
You are “guilty” of micromanaging, in situations when you should not, if you recognize yourself in all or some of the following statements:
- You prefer to complete the team members’ tasks yourself because you are convinced you can do it better than they could.
- You organize several-hour-long status report meetings more often than you need to.
- You tell your team members all the tiny steps they need to take to complete their work.
- You monitor everyone’s progress closely, but you are losing sight of the project’s progress.
- You allow your team members to make no decisions.
- You think perfectionism is the best quality of a project manager. (more…)