I just read Joel Spolsky’s article A Little Less Conversation, which is a good article. Although there is another problem which can arise from having a manager who is co-ordination the conversations and that is when he is stopping all conversations until he decides that they are needed!
In my current assignment I have been brought into a project to make a revision of the current software architecture. This project is about migrating a legacy application to .NET, but in the 9 years the project has been going on this has not yet been finalized. The guy who is now managing the project has been in it almost all the time, but he shows us over and over that he has no understanding about software development at all.
The biggest mistake he does at the moment is that he has taken total control over who should discuss what and with who! When we finally get to meet the key stakeholders, he has spent a large amount of time on inventing solutions for the topics that we are discussing and quite early in the meeting we all dismiss them because they are totally wrong! He spends so much time controlling the project and the work that we do, most of it he hasn’t got a clue about what it is, so that we feel like we have got our hands tied behind our backs. And when something goes bad, he blames us for it!
This and a lot more issues we are having with this project manager is very frustrating and it does not make you perform your best! If there is another assignment coming up I will not hesitate to move on!