Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Effect of Micromanagement

Micromanagement is, "to manage especially with excessive control or attention to details" - Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary.

In general, micromanagement has a negative meaning and implication, and is viewed unfavorably by supervised employees. Let's discuss the issues of micromanaging employees and how to identify if you are a micromanager.
Most people who have been in the workforce for any length of time have occasionally been exposed to a boss who micromanages. A micromanager is the manager who must personally make every decision, take a lead role in the performance of every significant task and, in extreme cases, dictate every small step the workers take. The micromanager hovers over people who are trying to get their work done and rarely, if ever, seriously considers their ideas and opinions.

Some Critical Effects of Micromanagement
The micromanager often punishes mistakes instead of counseling & educating staff. No effort is made to challenge employees with learning situations. This type of management can inhibit employee development. In the end, employees will learn to hide their mistakes and avoid taking risks.

Most employees are unhappy in the work place when they are micromanaged. Unhappy employees are less productive than happy employees. In addition, this may cause a high turnover on your team as unhappy employees leave, which will further affect your team's productivity.

A manager who has done nothing to develop one or more potential successors is usually viewed as a poor candidate for promotion. The manager who is perceived as poor at delegation and staff development is often not considered for promotion to a level where delegation takes on even greater importance.

You Might be a Micromanager if you...
  • Cannot delegate effectively or delegate at all.
  • Often hand out only the easy, boring or dirty tasks while delegating nothing of interest or importance to your team.
  • When you do delegate, you put the employee in a position of deciding nothing of significance without prior approval.
  • Hand out work, supposedly delegating, but hover instead, providing detailed direction, dictating methods rather than providing proper preparation, making the employee responsible for results and not allowing him or her to figure anything out and learn by doing.
  • Hand out a task, but pull it back at the first sign of trouble, failing to provide the employee with a condition essential to growth and development: the reasonable freedom to fail.
When Micromangment may Actually be Helpful
Most managers have to deal with a poorly performing employee at some point. Poor employee performance is a concern because it affects team and organizational performance.

The goal of improving a poor performer is to improve their performance. A means to doing so is to meet privately and frequently with the employee to discuss the performance issues. Assign tasks and provide specific direction, expectations and a timeline to the employee. Then, monitor, measure and discuss their performance during those frequent meetings. To some, this approach seems like micromanagement, and it may well be. The difference is that once the employee's performance improves, you will meet with them less frequently.

Letting Go of Micromanagement
The difference between managing and micromanaging is the focus on eliminating the “micro.” Start by looking at your to-do list to determine what tasks you can pass on to an employee. Clearly explain what the task result and due date should be, but don't dictate how the employee should work on the task. Ask, don't tell, your employee about how they plan to approach the assignment. You might be surprised that their approach, while different, may yield great results.

I encourage you to leave a comment by clicking on "...comments" below...
David Schuchman

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

About Mobile App Development

In today’s busy world, people are wondering what really is mobile app development, and what is involved in producing a mobile app for their business. Mobile application development is the process of making or creating a computer application to run on one or more mobile platforms. A mobile platform is the operating system used on a mobile device.

Apple’s mobile operating system is called iOS, Google’s mobile platform is Android, RIM is Blackberry OS, and Windows is Windows Mobile.  Each platform has its own rules and requirements to make and deploy a mobile application. This is very important to understand because when making an application for mobile app development on the various mobile platforms you cannot just make one app and port it over to the next platform. You must recreate the application for each mobile platform.

When deciding which mobile application development is right for you, first consider what your overall goal is. Are you making a game, informational, utility or e-commerce product? Once you know what you’re making, then decide what platform(s) would be best for your mobile application and your targeted user community. Android has a very high market penetration. However due to the various operating system variations, Android development can be more challenging. Apple has a high number users and people are willing to pay for them. However development is more challenging to meet Apple’s requirements on being published.

When thinking about how and why to build a mobile application and begin development, it is important to think about how you plan to proceed.  Consider the following:

  • Set Your Expectation for Success: Is success x number of downloads, x amount of money earned, or x active users? Be realistic.
  • What is Your budget? The average cost of an application can range from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars, depending on the complexity of the programming and number of mobile platforms to accommodate. It is important to define your budget.
  • What Platforms are You Going to be on? It is important to decide where your market is, what the best way to reach them is, and what gives you the biggest opportunity. Android is used on 46.9% of mobile devices*, Apple iOS on 42.6% of mobile devices, Windows is on 2.7% of mobile devices, and Blackberry and others comprise the remainder of the mobile device market.
  • What are Your Needed Features? Apps are not websites, you need to create good features that people want to use and have a good user interface. 
  • Does the Application Need Internet Access? While internet (or WiFi) access is needed to download the mobile application, consider if the mobile application needs internet access in order to be actively used (e.g. upload or download data). If it does, you need to plan for if/how it can be used when users do not have internet access.

Looking forward, it is expected that a large percentage of mobile application development will focus on creating browser-based applications that are device-agnostic (e.g. responsive web design). Browser-based applications are simply websites that are built to effectively work on mobile internet browsers.

For more information on this topic, contact Princeton Technology Advisors, LLC.

* Netmarketshare, February 2015

I encourage you to leave a comment by clicking on "...comments" below...
David Schuchman