Managing Outside Influences

One of my primary tasks as a manager of software developers is shielding them from many of the day-to-day politics and posturing so that I can put them in the best position to complete whatever tasks are at hand or that need to be complete for the success of the company.


This takes on various appearances. Let’s say….


  1. There is an outside project manager is yelling for resources or pushing for quicker turn around times.
  2. The customer is upset at the number of issues, or design decisions, or any number of other items.
  3. Developers in other departments want to use our resources/manpower.


All of these circumstances could be valid concerns or wants.   Or, these people could simply have a different set of priorities.


Sometimes the answer is, talking to your people finding out why they have a slow turn around time or a large number of issues. Identify the problem, people or process, and fixing it.


Sometimes the answer is to simply acknowledge the “ask” and continue doing what you are doing.   


Too many times, management simply lets these types of requests or demands flow through them into the team.  Management’s job is to be the valve.  Close and isolate the team when necessary.