May 24 2011

Manage Your Manager, Organize Your Organization

No matter what your position in an organization, no matter your title, or pay grade you often need to manage those you work with. Sometimes you need to manage your own manager, co-workers, and other resources. You might work with the boss that travels often and consistently sends you notes on features and requirements right after client demos. Maybe you may work with a project manager who keeps hand written half crossed out tasks scattered in a series of prints out. Worse yet, you work in a team that delegates work by forwarding and replying to essay length emails.

Highly effective development teams have a series of habits that they routine practice including using a version control system and bug tracking software. As an individual contributor, you also need to develop habits to help you team. Here is a short list of habits you can develop to help you succeed in a team environment.

  • Manage tasks in a single document.
  • Keep lists of work items.
  • Keep correspondence with other short and simple.
  • When email people about separate issues, separate issues in different bullets or different paragraphs.
  • When describing a problem, list possible causes and solutions.
  • Use screenshots and image editing software to help you illustrate your point.
  • Use screenshots and image editing software to help you illustrate your point.

There are a multiple tools to achieve this, you can use Outlook Tasks, Google Documents, Microsoft Project. An effective organization has every member using the best tools available to organize their tasks and those of the people around them. The key to success is to make it easy for yourself and those around you to achieve your goals.