Managers, keep your boss informed about the project

After many years of experience on the field, I have learnt one very important tip to follow while managing any software development project – Keep your Boss Informed. Good or bad, it makes a lot of sense to keep your Boss abreast of the way the project is heading.

The Boss here can mean anyone, ranging from the Program Manager or the Delivery Head or even the Group Head – he should be the person whom you report to in the hierarchy. He will have magical powers you will never realize existed. To have the access, you need to let him know that you need his powers very soon.

If the project is on track, I am sure all of us will have no hesitation to share the news. If you are on a shaky track, it makes all the more sense for you to (on seeing the red-lights on your horizon) give a heads-up to your boss.

How can he help you out? Various ways:

  • Guide you on the various ways you can reduce the risks in your project
  • Provide you additional resources that can help mitigate the ‘people’ issues you might have. The resources can be in terms of additional developers or expert help or senior Management
  • Talk to the Customer’s Senior Management to appraise the current situation in the project and set expectations accordingly. This can also include sharing concerns that you might have on the Customer’s personnel.

Most often, Project Managers tend to hide the status and try to paint a rosy picture to their bosses, so that they can slip away from the radar of the Boss. They do it the first time, then a second time and then do it continuously…till the Boss comes to know of it and then summons the Project Manager. Once that happens, your relationship with your Boss sours and he will start doubting your capabilities for ever.

Management Support is an important tool for all Project Managers and has to be used very judiciously. To receive the support, do remember to keep your Manager informed.

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