Why isn’t having the greatest amount of technical expertise the key to being a good supervisor at Google?
A good project supervisor is responsible for meeting the objectives laid down by the firm, scheduling, making budgets, meeting deadlines with other personnel and contracted staff, assessing any risk involved, and keeping up the morale of the team so that the project terminates on time and successfully, in the best interests of the firm. The project members may be personnel of the same department, of the same firm but other departments, or it may be a contracted staff. This makes project management a tough task to succeed. There is no denying the fact that technical expertise is a vital aspect in making a project work; however, since the personnel involved is of diverse conditions and departments usually. Hence, a working relationship needs to form where soft skills play a crucial role. (Gillard, 2009). The soft skills most needed are communication skills, negotiation skills, assertiveness, and decision-making skills. (Zielinski, 2005)
This observation has been made by several project management specialists and highlighted by Project Oxygen as well. It observes that real success achieves by managing people involved, rather than technicalities. One major cause of this observation is because a highly technical manager would try to micro-manage all aspects which he believes results best. However, the team succeeds when individuals are empowered. The desire to feel essential lies in all(Carnegie.). Hence, a flexible style of leadership needs to be adopted by the project supervisor. He needs to be an attentive listener, perspective, and perceptive person so that other members don’t just do what they have to because of position but rather it should be due to result orientation and respect as who the manager is and what he represents. Hence, having technical expertise is necessary to manage the tasks well, but the deciding factor is people management, proper communication, negotiation skills, persuasion, and stress management.
Does Google’s research on the performance of its managers surprise you? Why or why not?
No, it’s not surprising at all if the present demand for being highly efficient is to consider. The workplace demands team-building and communication skills. It requires the project manager to adopt a dynamic style of management and leadership as compared to traditional static style. Poor managers micro-manage every aspect which deprives the members of the feeling of being necessary to the project. This results in poor morale of the team, hence low productivity occurs, which costs the firm. On the other hand, successful managers give suggestions instead of giving orders. They are receptive to the input and feedback provided by the team members. Since diverse personnel is present most of the time, hence, handling each of them is different than the other. If the manager wants someone to do how he wants, he has to put it up in a way that the team member feels it’s his idea and that he wants to achieve it this way(Carnegie, 2017). Among other traits, a good manager possesses, making others feel comfortable with your personality is prime if the success of a project is required. Moreover, dynamic leadership focuses on future arenas as well, and a good manager knows that some people may come up again in another project. Hence, he needs to be extremely politically savvy and good at networking. At the workplace, politics is indispensable and carefully pick and choose of words need to be adopted. No doubt technical expertise is also demanded so that the project manager can assist his team during testing times (Gillard, 2009). However, as mentioned above, it needs to be through suggestions and taking input from every member. Disagreement in point of view is natural and important for growth in a working environment. Hence, healthy and result-driven discussions should conduct by project managers. A project manager needs to have a clear plan of action as everyone likes the clarity of thoughts. The managers at Google who were performing poorly focused more on micro-managing each individual of the team, rather than letting them do things their way. They created an environment that was pressing on the side, lowered the morale of the group, and resulted in the poor achievement of project tasks. High-performance project supervisors focused more on team building and proper networking, this made the group feel important and allowed them to thrive, meet deadlines, assess risks involved, manage budgets, and ultimately, the success of the project as it was timely complete. The project manager, the team personnel, and the firm were all satisfied.
Carnegie, D. (2017). How to win friends & influence people. e-artnow.
Gillard, S. (2009). Soft skills and technical expertise of effective project managers. Issues in informing science & information technology, 6.
Zielinski, D. (2005). Soft Skills, Hard Truths How the project-management discipline is rediscovering the power and importance of old-fashioned people skills. TRAINING-NEW YORK THEN MINNEAPOLIS THEN NEW YORK-, 42(7), 18.