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Here is my situation.

My boss wants to know everthing I am doing.

We are using Scrum so we do 15 minutes daily meeting and I attend everyday.. I am perfectly fine with this and actually interested in this agile that my company started to practice..

My concern is my boss also want to be reported almost every issue I am handling for production and QA. If some production issue escalated to me and my boss is not included in the e-mail trail, she would storm me and escalate it to the director.

If I fix one bug and deploy QA, she would like to know,,, in written.

I stand up to the team once saying I attend daily scrum meeting and explain my status as detail as possbile, why I should send out e-mail again?

I feel being micro managed. I feel there is no ownership for any task for programmers even we are practicing Agile.

But would it be just my emotion? Maybe all she wanted is visibility of the task I am doing..

What do you fellow programmers think the difference between visibility of the task and micro-management.

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3 Answers 3

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As a manager myself, I can tell you that there are three main causes of this type of behavior:

1) Control Freak - This is most common in newly promoted managers that are (or consider themselves) really good at the task you are performing. It is a difficult transition to be suddenly responsible for the success/failures of work that you didn't do yourself, especially when you think that you are better at it than the more junior person who is now doing it. Eventually most good managers come to realize that people work differently, and need to be allowed to fail once in a while to learn from those failures and improve.

2) The Bored Manager - Also more common, although less so, in newer managers who don't yet really understand their role. They feel unproductive if they aren't directly contributing to the task and haven't figured out that organizing work and removing obstacles ARE valuable contributions. They often feel that despite working hard all day, they didn't accomplish anything and try to horn in on what you are doing so they can participate in your eureka moments, or at least add some value.

3) Trust Issues - When micromanagement comes on suddenly, a normally hands-off manager changes into a micro-manager, or they micromanage you, but not other employees you may only need to look in the mirror to find the source of the problem. In my experience the most common reason for micromanagement is a trust issue. It may seem like a lot of work to satisfy a micro-manager, but it is also a lot of work to micromanage you. Recognizing that, there is a good reason he/she is doing it. If it isn't 1 or 2, start thinking about what you could do to earn that trust. Think carefully about recent discussions with that manager, some managers aren't very good at or comfortable with talking directly to you about issues they have with your work. You may need to be direct with them to get to the root of the problem.

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2 is out of question. She is busy as hell working day and night. #1 is 80%, I think. Whenever a new feature introducs, she design DB schema by herself and introduce Sr. developers. No discussion. When we start to use a new server, she is the only one who installed in local computer.Neither me nor other developers. She even gives volocity for other developers except 2 Sr. devlopers and it is like OK. Sick!! –  exiter2000 Nov 3 '10 at 2:32
    
3 might play as well. But how do I gain her trust? Reporting every single issue I am dealing with is just painful and reduce my productivity. I want a ownership on the task and do my best to do actual work, not reporting it. –  exiter2000 Nov 3 '10 at 2:50
    
First, very nice and complete answer John, I liked it much. Second @exiter2000: I think her problem is maybe that she can't delegate. Basically the problem is that she is very competent and the job that you will do will probably never be up to what she would have done so feel like she need to do everything herself (that would be why she is asking to know every details). I'm not sure about the solution but you could try to ask her to trust you that you will do a good job AND tell her as soon as there is anything important that you might have problem with. If she know that you will .. –  n1ckp Nov 3 '10 at 11:50
    
tell her about any problem or question you got, she might feel that she can let you free to work on the rest without needing to know everything. I don't say it is the problem but from your description it do sound like that. –  n1ckp Nov 3 '10 at 11:51
    
@exiter2000 - Re how to gain her trust. I'd suggest talking to her directly about your concerns in a constructive way. Tell her that you feel she is managing you a little too closely for comfort and are afraid she doesn't trust you to work independently. Express a genuine desire to gain her trust and ask her to become a partner in your efforts to do so. –  JohnFx Nov 3 '10 at 14:35
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This is why I love the Product Formerly Known as Team Systems. Without any extra work for developers, managers can see the status of every work item. They can see every check in. You can see when the manager raises the pri of the bug. The way I usually explain it (as a manager) is:

I don't have to interrupt your progress to ask you for a progress report

There are other tools that offer this ability. You need one. If you don't give your boss what she needs, you won't succeed. But if it's killing you to give her what she needs, you won't succeed. A transparent tool (in Team Systems you just check one box to Associate your checkin with a Work Item and it's marked resolved, assigned to the person who created it, and email alerts go out) will let you live your regular life while surfacing a fountain of information to all who want to consume it.

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I am not even sure if she is not willing to bother me. It looks like micro managing me is her first task,. –  exiter2000 Nov 3 '10 at 2:28
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She is using Scrum as a control system. That's bad. This may be seen as her willing to micro manage. Some of her employees may try to seek for answers in online communities!!!

Seriously, what is her role in your company? Is she product owner?

If not she can attend to daily scrum without asking questions. She should discuss with the product owner about the product backlog. She should let the team self manage.

You should use an information radiator that you update daily. She should ask the information radiator not you.

The Scrum Master should take care of this.

Who is the Scrum Master in your team?

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Our scrum master is weak, barly following issues and often does not understand what is going on. Even on the plaing meeting, she is assiging work to the developer. She does not give volocity for my task since I cannot hide my facial expression of disgusting that but she often tried another Sr. developer. –  exiter2000 Nov 3 '10 at 2:29
    
She is a lead developer –  exiter2000 Nov 3 '10 at 2:32
    
A Lead Developer should have than much power she sounds like power hunger individual. What she is doing is attempting to be a fill a development manager role. You shouldn’t be reporting to lead developer especially if you’re a Sr. Developer, that’s the wrong report lines. A development manager is only a technical manager not a fellow developer which lead developer definitely is. –  Nickz Nov 3 '10 at 3:22
    
So you name "your boss" your lead developer? –  user2567 Nov 3 '10 at 7:25
    
Yep.. Obviously, she wants me to report everything. She assgin a task for me. She is the boss. –  exiter2000 Nov 3 '10 at 14:48
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