Forced Management

We have a quick turn around release coming up next month. The project manager provided the high level schedule to everybody. That was a good move. I am looking out for myself. The scheduled time for development is coming up quickly. But I had not seen any preparation done for this task.

The work had not been divided and assigned to developers. The plan for configuration management of the changes had not been hashed out yet. I gave my team lead some time. But nothing was going down. So at a manager's tech meeting, I started asking some questions.

I asked one of the leads how the configuration management was going to be done. We figured that out during the meeting. Then I asked my team lead when he was going to do the assignments. He said it was already done. I told him that nobody on the team knew what their assignments were. Essentially I informed him and the group that nothing was done. We also hashed out the assignments during this meeting. The meeting ran an hour longer than normal. But we got the essential decisions for the next release done.

Should I have waited until the last minute, allowing none of these things to get done? No way. Then me and the team would have been working nights and weekends. Should I have taken the team leads aside individually and told them they needed to get their act together? Perhaps. I could have made the decisions get done. But then I would end up having to do this for every release. I figure I can embarrass the guys a bit by calling them out in a meeting. Perhaps the next time they will be proactive without prodding from me. Maybe not. But if the next release comes around and this work has not been done, I will have to get even more forceful. I will have to call my own special meeting with the big bosses and inform them that some people are not doing their jobs.

Yes I might be a pain. But this is pain with a purpose. I want to make sure planning is done before it is too late and I suffer. The rank and file developers love me because I am looking out for myself and them. The responsible team leads don't like getting called out. But I make it easy. Do your job and I won't bother you.