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Being a Manager

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A guide for line managers at eXtropia, a small company of about 40 people that was going through a common growth phase of start-ups

A guide for line managers at eXtropia, a small company of about 40 people that was going through a common growth phase of start-ups

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  • 1. http://www.eXtropia.com BEING A MANAGER Selena Sol presents….. selena@selenasol.com http://www.linkedin.com/pub/eric-tachibana/0/33/b53 http://www.slideshare.net/selenasol an example training guide for a real start-up
  • 2. http://www.eXtropia.com eXtropia.com February 2001 being a manager…
  • 3. http://www.eXtropia.com Part 1…………………………...………………………..introduction Part 2….…………….……………...………managing deliverables Part 3……………………………………….……….…….…meetings Part 4………………………………………………..…….…coaching table of contents…
  • 4. http://www.eXtropia.com Part 1……………………………………..……………..introduction ………………………...…the management team of eXtropia ………………………………………...…wearing multiple hats ……….…………………...…fulfilling the promise of eXtropia ………………….……………...…being an eXtropia manager Part 2….……….……….………….…………managing deliverables Part 3…………..………………………………………….…meetings Part 4…………..…………………………………………..…coaching
  • 5. http://www.eXtropia.com The role of the manager is to assure that the employees they manage are working as effectively and efficiently as possible and do so over many years of employment. Management is a serious issue and there is a manager for every major department [REVIEW TABLE] the eXtropia management team…
  • 6. http://www.eXtropia.com eXtropia managers wear multiple managerial and multiple non- managerial hats simultaneously Of course, the problem with juggling so many balls is that balls sometimes get dropped. Sadly, because the management of employees is not obviously related to short-term deliverables, management responsibilities are often the first to go. But this is not sustainable long-term behaviour. wearing multiple hats…
  • 7. http://www.eXtropia.com Even though we cannot provide things like job security, fancy training, proper support or regular hours, people still want to work for us. And even though we are understaffed, underpaid and cramped into a tiny and smelly office with no receptionist, people come back day after day. Why? We offer an environment in which every employee has a 1. A voice 2. Room to breathe 3. Top notch team and learning environment fulfilling the promise of eXtropia…
  • 8. http://www.eXtropia.com This environment was not developed by chance but required a great deal of thought and energy to create and requires just as much thought and energy to maintain fulfilling the promise of eXtropia…
  • 9. http://www.eXtropia.com The role of manager at eXtropia can be summarized as 4 duties… • Managing Deliverables • Managing Meetings • Coaching • Resource Management being an eXtropia manager…
  • 10. http://www.eXtropia.com Part 1……………………………………..………...……..introduction Part 2….……….……….………….………managing deliverables ….…………………………………………….....…introduction ………………………………………………….....…delegation …………………………responsibility for doing and verifying ……..…………………………………….....…planning review ……………………………….…….....…timelines and targets ……………………………..………………….....…milestones ………………………………………….....…progress reports ……………………………….....…cross-project coordination …………………….…………….....…the proper use of tools ………………………………...…exercise 1: progress report Part 3…………..………………………………………….…meetings Part 4…………..…………………………………………..…coaching
  • 11. http://www.eXtropia.com From a dollars and cents perspective, a manager is first and foremost responsible for making sure that the deliverables assigned to his or her team members are competed 1) on time, 2) on budget, and 3) to the quality standards defined by eXtropia’s brand. This is true whether the project is small or large. introduction…
  • 12. http://www.eXtropia.com Managers must resist the temptation to “go in and do it themselves.” It is not realistic for a manager to get too involved in the details of all the projects that his or her team is working on. Micro- management quickly becomes untenable because the manager will quickly run out of time Managers should create an environment that is 1) designed to guide employees towards success, 2) provides the employees with the proper tools to succeed, 3) provides warning bells that will sound when a project is getting out of control. delegation…
  • 13. http://www.eXtropia.com Such an environment can be created by managing the following: • Assign responsibility • Set timelines and target completion dates • Break tasks into milestones • Assure cross-project coordination and reporting delegation…
  • 14. http://www.eXtropia.com Every task, however small, must have assigned to it 1) a specific person (or set of people) whose responsibility it is to complete it and 2) a specific person whose responsibility it is to verify that the job has been done correctly. The explicit assignment and acceptance of responsibility is key. Everybody must clearly know what is expected of each other. assigning a doer and a verifier…
  • 15. http://www.eXtropia.com Once the manager has assigned responsibility for the task and the verification of the task, he or she should then provide feedback during the planning process. Without an editor, the temptation is too rush the planning stage. Further, without a second set of eyes reviewing a plan, the risk is that the plan will be lacking. planning review…
  • 16. http://www.eXtropia.com Every task should have a timeline and a target completion date. That is not to mean that timelines and targets cannot be changed over the lifetime of a project That said, while it is within the normal course of business for there to be project slippage, it is not something to be encouraged nor simply accepted. Project slippage is extremely expensive for the company in terms of opportunity costs and clashes between projects ending and projects beginning. timelines and targets…
  • 17. http://www.eXtropia.com There are other benefits of timelines and targets: 1. Timelines create mental structure and incentives – the last 10% 2. Timelines and targets facilitate cross-project planning timelines and targets…
  • 18. http://www.eXtropia.com It is always easier to manage small tasks rather than large ones. The smaller the task, the fewer things can go wrong. As a result, it is very useful to break larger projects into smaller tasks, or milestones. As a manager it is your responsibility to work with your team to define project milestones and then to monitor their progress along the milestones. These milestones will provide a natural structure and agenda for your meetings. milestones…
  • 19. http://www.eXtropia.com Progress reports are one of the best ways that you can keep track of your team’s progress. Each type of employee has a specific format for progress reporting that are stored on the NT drive under progress_reports. Progress reports contain instructions embedded within them and it is important that you read and fully understand these instructions. progress reports…
  • 20. http://www.eXtropia.com Writing good progress reports is a skill that takes some time to master. A good progress report should have the following characteristics 1. Analysis versus status – you don’t need the detail. Status is always changing. Better done impromptu. Prevents tunnel vision. 2. Resource Control 3. Writing improvement 4. Building awareness in softer issues - promotions 5. Peer Review – tech to tech and tech to sales – everyone expected from now on. 6. Action Items 7. Editorial Commentary – criticism and praise. Active reading. Honesty. Everyone expected from now on. progress reports…
  • 21. http://www.eXtropia.com As a result, there is a need to coordinate across tasks and across people. While it is the responsibility of the employees completing tasks to manage the details of coordination themselves, it is the job of the manager to facilitate this coordination in any way he or she can. This can be especially tough in an environment like eXtropia where each employee may effectively have multiple managers. cross-project coordination…
  • 22. http://www.eXtropia.com In this section we have discussed managerial “tools” like action items and progress reports. In the next section we will also talk about meetings. While these tools are certainly part of your role as a manager, it is important for you to know that they are not absolute. Managerial tools are always dependent on the situation. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. It is your job to improve your intuition about when and where to use each tool. Using a tool in the wrong place can be worse then not using it at all! An improperly edited progress report, for example, can damage the morale you want to build. An improperly written progress report can waste hours of both the reader’s and the writer’s time. tool use…
  • 23. http://www.eXtropia.com Edit progress report, then discuss exercise 1…
  • 24. http://www.eXtropia.com Part 1……………………………………..………...……..introduction Part 2….……….……….………….…………managing deliverables Part 3…………..………………………………………….…meetings ….…………………………………………..costs and benefits …………………………………………………...…preparation …………………………………………controlling the meeting ……..…………………………………….……….....…minutes ……………………………….…………...…types of meetings ……….……………………………...…exercise 2: one2one’s Part 4…………..…………………………………………..…coaching
  • 25. http://www.eXtropia.com Everybody hates meetings. But, at the same time, most people, especially managers realize the need for meetings. Meetings are one of the manager’s most crucial tools to enhance work communication. For one, meetings can be an effective way to disseminate status information. That is, in a short 20-30 minutes, your entire team can be brought onto the same page. Of course a good meeting will go beyond status. costs and benefits…
  • 26. http://www.eXtropia.com Ideally, status will have already been communicated before the meeting begins and the meeting can be used for • Analysis • Creative group thinking • Peer Review • Communication up, down, and lateral • Motivational • Cross-product training However you have to consider direct and opportunity costs. Proper meeting management is critical if you are to extract the greatest benefits from your meetings while minimizing the costs. costs and benefits…
  • 27. http://www.eXtropia.com • Define and communicate goals • Who, where and when - cost, tenor, and focus • Set, distribute, and follow the agenda – enough time • Meeting practicalities preparation…
  • 28. http://www.eXtropia.com As a manager, it is your responsibility to control/chair your meetings. Like anything else in a company, meetings require active shepherding if they are to be successful. It is essential that you remain focused, positive, and that you constantly maintain control over your meetings if they are to be successful. • Tardiness • Mobile phones and pagers • Confirdentiality • Chairing – keep it on track, one person at a time, fairness, and a word about authority • Be clear with action items • Arrange the Next Meeting • Setup follow ups for items too complex or too off-topic to be handled controlling the meeting…
  • 29. http://www.eXtropia.com Meeting minutes are crucial for legal, marketing and communication purposes. They also assure that everyone is actively listening because you can only take good minutes if you are actively listening. Everyone should be encouraged to take notes in a meeting, but one person should officially minute the meeting. Good minutes should be completely understandable to those who did not attend. They should also specify the time, place and attendees of the meeting as well as the details of action items. Distribution and Filing of minutes meeting minutes…
  • 30. http://www.eXtropia.com • Weekly Team meetings • 121’s • All-Staff • Managers • Shareholders • Hallway Meetings types of meetings…
  • 31. http://www.eXtropia.com Partner up and give each other one 2 one’s. We discuss as a group afterwards. Everyone is expected to type up the minutes from their 121 and hand in by next Friday. exercise 2: 121…
  • 32. http://www.eXtropia.com Part 1……………………………………..………………..introduction Part 2….……….……….………….…………managing deliverables Part 3…………..………………………………………….…meetings Part 4…………..………….……………………………..…coaching …………………………………………………...…introduction ………………………………………………...…the eXtropian ……….……………………………………...…job satisfaction ………………..respect, honesty, clarity, patience, positivity …………………………………………...…informal networks ……….…………………...…training and skills development ………………………………………...…marketing your team ………………………………………….exercise 3: discussion
  • 33. http://www.eXtropia.com Of course, a manager’s job is far more than simply making sure that the trains run on time. As we have said before, one of the foundations of eXtropia lies in its people. The employees that we have gathered together represent one of the best sets of people in the region. We hire a certain type of person that requires a certain type of management and we have created a certain type of culture that needs to be fostered if we are to continue to attract the type of employee that we are after and if we are to maintain the quality standards we have achieved thus far. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help create, maintain, and evolve the type of environment required by eXtropia employees. introduction…
  • 34. http://www.eXtropia.com • eXtropians are nerds • eXtropians are multi-talented • eXtropians are independent and self-motivated • eXtropians are damn good at what they do the eXtropian…
  • 35. http://www.eXtropia.com Challenge -> Accomplishment -> Reward -> Challenge… Challenge is both technical and non technical Your job is to define challenge, define strategy to surmount challenge, define milestones, provide stick and carrot to incentivize and push employee. Proper praise and criticism in the context of review. job satisfaction…
  • 36. http://www.eXtropia.com Dealing with failures should be as positive as possible 1. admit to the failure 2. analyze the failure. What went wrong exactly? 3. analyze the solution. How was it solved in the end or how should it have been solved if it is too late? 4. specify what will be done to make sure the failure does not happen again. job satisfaction…
  • 37. http://www.eXtropia.com Of course, coaching must be set within a context of trust, honesty, clarity, patience and positivity. Also, remember that you are the boss and that what you says carries a great deal of weight. Do your best to control your own anxiety and focus on creativity and positivity. Your team members WILL make mistakes. It is your job to turn those short-term failures into long-term successes. respect, honesty, clarity, patience and positivity…
  • 38. http://www.eXtropia.com As we all know, hallway meetings are always very telling. It is the informal environment when so much of your management is actually done, so use it to your advantage. Find out how your team members feel. Find out how happy they are and how you could better create a positive environment. informal networks…
  • 39. http://www.eXtropia.com As we have said before, one of the primary goals of the manager is to develop the skills and career path of their team members. When managing bright people, keeping them constantly on their toes is the surest way to create job satisfaction. Often, since project work may not mean working with the coolest new thing, you must fight the boredom that can set in by challenging your team to push their limits in other ways. Tech Reviews, Brown Bags, Formal Training (tech and soft) Building confidence Nurturing talent training and skills development…
  • 40. http://www.eXtropia.com Everyone is busy. As such, most other groups have very little time to investigate what your team is doing. This causes two problems. 1. Your team is under appreciated because nobody knows what they are doing. Since others do not see obvious results, they assume the team is sliding by. This causes frustrations between teams. 2. Nobody can support your team when they need it because people require time to come up to speed on projects that they are totally unfamiliar with. Also, the work that your team does remains limited to that group instead of being shared with the rest of the company. marketing your team…
  • 41. http://www.eXtropia.com Discuss then eat! exercise 3: discussion…
  • 42. http://www.eXtropia.com Thank you

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