Expect Error, Not Success in Project Management

There are two kinds of product management, writes Eric Krock on his Agile Product and Product Management blog.

  1. The Dysfunctional School Of Management: Assumes that humans are like machines, always capable of performing perfectly and consistently.
  2. The Functional School Of Management: Wherein management designs systems that account and compensate for the known characteristics and flaws of human workers.

Using the example of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job, and the airline’s decision to blame the workers themselves, Eric takes a more realistic view when applying critiques to styles of management in the product development process.

  • Prevention: Don’t push workers to limits you suspect they cannot handle. Create flexible work schedules and environments.
  • Monitoring and Detection: Maybe the reason your employees are underperforming is because they think they can get away with it. Keep an eye on areas of trouble—but don’t become too overbearing!
  • Intervention: Stop the problem before it becomes a problem.
  • Opt Out: If an employee is having trouble at work, allow them to guiltlessly call out of work when they’re feeling under the weather. If guilt is involved, however, you’ll notice that workers will both underperform and feel obligated to do so.

Take a look the rest of Eric’s post by following the link below—you may find that expecting human error instead of operating under the assumption that all’s well all the time will improve employee relations.

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