Are Your Managers Part of Your Team?

I just read a great post from Johanna Rothman's blog titled Are Your Managers Part of Your Team? In response to someone saying "Managers aren't part of the team.", Rothman writes "Blow me over with a feather. I agree that managers aren't part of the technical work that their team performs day-to-day (although some of my clients try to use their managers that way). And the more agile the team is, the less the manager can participate in the same way that the developers and testers do. But I thought managers were part of the team." She goes on to try and define what a team is:

  • Teams are small, generally 5-10 members
  • Teams are committed to a common purpose or goal
  • Teams have an agreed-upon approach to the work
  • Team members have complementary skills
  • Team members have interrelated or interdependent interim goals
  • Team members make commitments about tasks to each other

I agree with the above definition and the belief that managers are a part of "the team". Granted, many organizations insulate managers or bury them in bureaucracy, but if you aren't connecting with your team and providing the necessary guidance and support, you aren't really a manager – Or maybe your a manager but you're not really good at it? Here's some final words from Rothman's post:

Here's what I've seen. Yes, the manager (project manager, functional manager, whatever manager is associated with the team) has additional goals than just one project or team's work, especially if that manager is managing several projects or teams. The manager has additional commitments than just the ones with a given team. And managers who don't take their commitments to the team seriously are not part of that team. (I've been part of teams where we were united in our goals against the managers.)

There's always a tension between the managers and their management work–especially managing up–and the team's work. But I guess I'm still missing why great managers are not a part of their teams. Are your managers part of your team?

The direct link to Are Your Managers Part of Your Team? is: Be sure to check out the comments following the post for more insight on the subject and interesting comments on the content and final question posed by Rothman. It's definitely food for thought and should get you thinking about your role as a project/program/product/functional/etc. manager with respect to your team. Your comments are always welcome. As always – Enjoy!

source post : Raven (


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