Why efficient Project Managers are mandatory in any organization.
As usual I am going to relate a real life incident to all of you..as we know ‘Fact is and has always been stranger than fiction’ – this incident may be an eye opener to many!
After having completed my Professional Diploma in Web Engineering from Arena Multimedia & Animation Academy, I did get an opportunity to work as a part time Project Manager for couple of projects. Since I was not much of an expert – just had theoretical knowledge, so I was mostly given html based web design projects to work on – basically to supervise and get work done from the programmers. Being in Kolkata (West Bengal, India) where English is pretty poor…well it certainly proved to be a boon for me! Someone is required to read and understand the project requirements that usually comes in English – and this exactly where I fitted in.
This was also the time when transition to WordPress, Jhoomla, Drupal was gradually taking place and lot many php programmers were recruited for the same. My job was to read the project specs, break it into pieces and distribute it among designers and programmers. Well – so far, so good.
Since I had no clue whatsoever of WordPress, I used to just watch the end result and marvel at the ease of it – like I had seen how simple it was to create pages and posts and easy things always have a special position in my heart! Simultaneously, along with Project Management, I used to handle couple of maintenance works as well. For maintenance, things like add an extra menu on top and a sub-menu beneath a main menu tab plus create a custom menu for right side panel, used to come and I passed it on to the programmer kept for maintenance.
Later as you spend time with programmers and your colleagues become your friends too, you get to learn many things on board. One day a huge list of changes came and the maintenance guy was absent. It was a pretty urgent work and I started to panic (like I get a bit flustered when things don’t get done on time and with perfection). One of the senior programmers was observing me panic and he just came near my desk and started to read the changes.
He: What Aparna madam! These changes are so simple, even you can do this!
Me: Me!? But look at the requirements – creating menu, changing sub-menus, adding more sub-menus…ok adding pages are fine I know it …but how will I give the page link and customise a menu for the right panel.
He simply smiled and said: Let me show you exactly how.
He showed me the utter simplicity of creating things in WordPress! The seemingly long list of maintenance work finished in an hour or so! I did it all myself and with perfection (I got appreciated for the fast work too!)
Now you, as a reader, may ask me whether I was happy with the achievement and the appreciation.
Of course I was – who doesn’t like to be appreciated for a work well done….but at the same time I was seething with anger! Because it was on this day that I realised how I was being duped by the Junior programmer(s)! Something that I, as a novice, finished off in half an hour, he would have taken 4 hours to do the same! Yes, he used to take time – lot of time to do such odd jobs – because earlier also I had allotted similar jobs to him and he had taken 4-5 hours for completing the same!
So what was happening here was – the maintenance guy was happily spending time doing nothing! That means he was pretending to work but he actually wasn’t ! For any fool could finish those kind of jobs in maximum 30 minutes! He was cheating blatantly!
Next time a similar job came and I asked him how much time he will require to finish it. Without blinking he said – about 3 hours or so.
Me: Really? Let me show you.
– I stood there and finished 4 out of 7 requirements just standing beside him. He was literally taken aback…since I don’t scold or scream or shout like hooligans – he just smiled and said “ oh! Madam ..so you have learnt it!..life will be so difficult for us now!” Yeah! in West Bengal you have to tolerate such cheeky workers with miserable and sloppy work attitude – cannot be helped really!
Anyway, I reported to Sir about my inefficiency as a manager! I then suggested him to allot senior programmers to supervise or else the mediocre employees will just waste our time and energy!
So dear entrepreneurs and managers, keep these things on mind –
- Not all employees are equally motivated – however hard you may try to keep them motivated with pep-talks or incentives.
- Some employees actually consider it an achievement to NOT work the entire day without anyone in the Management coming to know of it! In fact they proclaim it (among their colleagues) about this great achievement!
- Unfortunately, maximum employees work for money only – they do not apply their creativity or positive energy into it. Loving their work is out of question!
- Some employees love cheating, duping, swindling – beware of them and have your informers spread in every corner of the office….or else like termites, the below-average mediocre fools, will eat up your organisation!