How to be a Great Manager: Say “No”

While working in this field with my short 4 year career, I have learned some things like what abilities great managers and leaders have.

The first thing I learned is how to say “No”. Oh I don’t mean to say “No” to everything. (yeah I loved the movie ‘Yes man’!) I meant that managers or leaders should know how to say “No” when clients ask for more work which can’t be done on time. For example, let’s say we have a team for a project. Naturally, clients want more and better results from a project, and they always ask for more. They may ask to add more features or sometimes they ask to change very minor issues.(like font type or html/css stuff) More change or more update means longer time to finish the project, or sometimes it means changes of main structures of whatever.(can be DB or Web app structure.) Structure change can possibly mean redoing the project from the beginning.

If you have bad manangers or bad clients, you might have already experienced this. This is literally really bad. This kind of issue delays the whole project, and makes team members emotionally tired. And this make longer delay.

Let’s talk about a good example.

Clients ask for more features or more changes. A good manager will consider what the additional requirements takes and how long. If it is minor change, the manager will decide to make the change since satisfying his/her clients is very important. If it is a medium or big change, the manager will have a couple options:

  1. Work according to contract. More features out of the contract means more money and longer project period to ask for. (if the team is from an outsourcing company.)
  2. Say “cannot be done at this time due to our team workload, but if you really need you can consider renewal soon. We will add those features at that time.”

Saying “No” to anyone is very easy. But saying “No” to clients is very hard. If you want to be a good manager, you should begin learning this.

Any thoughts or advices for me, please leave comments or trackbacks. 🙂


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