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Disappointed with your email today

Edited

Today I received an email from Atlassian that contained the words 'Tired of project managers pinging you? Create code-based triggers to automate your Jira ticket updates.'

As a Project / Program Manager for 25 years I have worked extremely hard to understand the engineers and developers who are key members of our team.

I could write an extremely long piece here but I will keep it simple.

As PM's we are constantly being asked by stakeholders and many that include a very small tolerance for technology.

"Where are we up to?, "Why cant I see whats going on?". etc etc etc

So when we 'ping' a key member of our team to ask where they are up to, its to support the endorsement we are constantly seeking from the sponsors and stakeholders of these projects.

So for you to headline an email with that statement, it does not help us and/or all the members in the team.

I found it immediately disappointing. I don't expect any response or am I requesting an action. Except I ask that just be aware that when we ask how things are going, we are asking in the context that the team member building what we need is okay with the task they have both in ability and mentally. If we dont share a conversation audibly then we as a society are failing each other.

Thanks

Phil

2 comments

seanaty Atlassian Team Aug 06, 2020

Thanks for the honest feedback, @Phillip Jackett ! I'll pass this on to our marketing team and they might have a response.

I understand that the subject played into a stereotype of the roles each team member plays on a team. I'm an engineer and we have stereotypes too, most of which aren't considered attractive qualities. Regardless, it's best not to perpetuate these stereotypes in order to achieve a well-functioning team.

We all know it takes a team to build great software and Atlassian is working to smooth out the interactions between its products to facilitate the process. I think the feature being advertised is really awesome! Engineers can work in Bitbucket and keep issue status up to date really easily. It's win-win for both parties. Engineers can code more and PMs can get real time updates.

Anyhow, we probably didn't need to promote this to the detriment of any particular team role.

I work in a completely different way to you, but I see what you're saying.

Broadly, I've worked with two very different "types" of PM (well, "leader", it's not just PMs here).  There is, of course, a sliding (oversimplified) scale, but the two ends are:

  1. The one who is always asking you how it's going, and what is the status of thing #x that they're worried about for the next 30 minutes or so until #y jumps over it in importance for some random reason
  2. The one who engages with their team, listens to what they're up to, gives good guidance on expectations and manages them with the sponsor/product owner/stakeholder, and tries to encourage openness and simple transparency.

From what you've said, you are hard over on end #2 of the scale I've rambled about.

I think the article you've got a link to is very much aimed at people who are living with bosses who are at the other end of the scale.

But it does have a good point about "automate stuff so I can get on with what I want and have my minimal reporting bubble up usefully"

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