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May 4, 2004

A Good Meeting with a Manager Does Wonders

I recently had a meeting with my manager that has created a noticeable change in my level of stress and productivity at work (stress down, productivity up).

It's not that we (manager and I) don't meet often, in fact it's the opposite. Rarely a day goes by that we aren't meeting at least once, sometimes more (and then there's the days we're meeting before and after other meetings to discuss what happened in the other meetings).

Last week I was asked to put together a list of projects up for consideration after our (dev team) current projects. This implies that each developer has one project and will move on to one other project when the current one is complete. Not true. The project list has never been small. When I started (the first full-time developer) there were several dozen projects waiting. The dev team has grown to three, but the project list has grown even faster. What we're faced with is not a single current project, but the 6 *critical* projects with promised deliverables and a dozen other things that are pretty important. And if that's not enough, the priorities can change depending on who's complaining the loudest.

Back to the good meeting . . .

In the meeting with my manager to discuss the projects, I was firm in wanting a reasonable list and some concrete priorities. It took some work, but I walked out with 4 things on my list to have completed by Aug 31, and some priorities for each item. After thrashing between so many competing demands for such a long time I just can't say enough how good it feels to have a visible road map. So nice to tackle an issue and actually get to remain with it for long enough to make a good coding decision or two.

I got the first project into alpha testing in a fraction of the time I thought it would take, and am pretty pleased in the organization of the code and coding.

My next project is shibboleth, which I've ignored since I got it built in January.

Posted by mike at May 4, 2004 9:59 PM