Use your team’s expertise

Use your team’s expertise. 

Recently I stopped the micromanager in me and rephrased my ask in the form of questions to be answered.

Let me tell you what happened.

I needed, in my mind, particular reports.

Reports that I hoped would give me some much-needed answers around specific projects.

I was in the middle of planning activities, and I needed to know

  • When will Project X be done?
  • What percentage of the project have we completed? 
  • Are there any upcoming risks that we know of for the project? 
  • What percentage of the team is working on the project?
  • What dependencies are there?

Having done similar reporting in the past, my first inclination was to do it myself.

I had failed to realize that I wasn’t leading those projects directly, so I lacked confidence in the info that I was pulling.

I went to the project leads directly and started digging around specifics for the project, asking about individual tickets and how they connected to other work, requesting links to documents, reports on who was doing the job, and additional specific information.

When it hit me, I had a plan and wanted things done, so I just jumped into action and began asking for a lot of info.

I did not provide context, I did not phrase my ask in terms of my need, and I assumed incorrectly that I was the best suited to provide the answers.

So what did I do instead? Well, I began by apologizing for jumping into my agenda without any context.

I then explained that I needed to understand various aspects of the projects and get the information consistent across projects.

After some quick ideation on how to achieve the work, they came up with a friendly dashboard that would pull data automatically and consistently from all the projects for the zone.

The results were much better than what I had envisioned, and I am glad I pulled in the micromanager in me and instead relied on my team’s expertise to get the info I needed.

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