Certainly, we’ve all heard the term micromanagement. It probably sounds about as good to you as brussel sprouts do to most of our stomachs. Yuck! Some of our worst employment experiences since our teen years are probably tied to a manager who tried to micromanage you in some way. Some project customers can be that way as well. And those experiences are probably tied to our worst – or at least most stressful – project lead experiences.
But what about macro-management? Have you heard of that term before? Macro management is defined as a management style where you give your employees control and autonomy over their work. Instead of telling team members what to do, macro-managers provide the context team members need to prioritize and execute their high-impact work. This management style can increase trust, engagement, and ownership of your team.
Basically, the micromanager tells their team members what to do, while the macro-manager teaches their team what to do and lets them execute. Give them the tools and let them be creative and trust the work will get done while being available to help and encourage. What’s the difference? One is oppressive and the other encourages loyalty and career growth.
Since macro-management is a hands-off approach, it helps employees grow and learn through teaching and gives them autonomy in their work – thus learning different ways to succeed that will stick with them for the rest of their careers. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime. That’s the plan with macro-management.
How do we do this thing called macro-managing? In this article, we will go over a few helpful tips and strategies.
1) Properly Delegate Work
Giving people the right tasks that fit their skill sets or even go slightly above their skill sets allows them to be challenged and grow. Through this planning and delegation and challenge macro managers can help their team members to gain more rewards for their work and grow into more responsible and leadership-focused positions.
2) Turn Over Control
Similar to delegating work – show your team that you need them and value them as team members. If you do everything with a “I can just do it better myself” attitude no one wins. Turning over control to important tasks and decisions will help them become better leaders and help your PMO and PM infrastructure become more successful at delivering on projects.
3) Be a Good Example
Lead by example. You’ve heard of that one before – right? Show them how to do it and then let them do it. Standing over your team is no way to manage them. You perform, they perform. And a few failures along the way never hurt anyway – that is human nature and it’s how we learn.
4) Set Goals and Help Layout a Roadmap
Set goals for the PMO and the team. Help them reach those goals by making them useful, reachable goals but also challenging and make them more challenging as you go along. It takes effort to be a macro managing manager of a team, but the end result is worth it.
5) Trust, trust, trust
We can’t say it enough. If you can’t trust that your team can do their job then you need to reconsider why. You hired these individuals or they were assigned to your team because they are good, they have qualified skills, and most likely, they know what is expected of them. Now let them. Let them figure out how to get a job done. Let them learn along the way and grow. And let them have their successes and hopefully few failures. Trust they will get their assigned work done.
Pros and Cons of Macro-Management
As stated, the act of macro managing, if done well, can help a team grow, learn, and succeed. Trusting them to do their jobs well builds confidence and trust. The team grows career-wise to become better project leaders and helps the PMO take on challenging projects successfully.
What’s the downside? It is not easy. It requires more long-range thinking from the manager who is practicing it. More planning. Possibly more stress. New managers may not be used to this style of management. Also, it’s not great for short-term results. It’s a long-range plan, but in the end, it should be worth it.
If you are looking for the best possible outcome for your projects, PMO and team then you can see there are huge benefits with the macro-management way. It is a long-term strategy fix. And it’s not a concept that is easy to jump into as it is more human nature to want to micromanage or jump in and do it yourself. Teaching and trusting are the keys to its success.