I'm starting a new department as a manager, and this will be my first time having direct reports. I have directly managed people on-and-off for the last 4-5 years, but the reporting structure has never been formalized. I have some ideas I'd like to implement. I will be hiring all new people (data analysts). My experience with my current company is that everyone is overworked and priorities are constantly shifting.
- I'm concerned my team members will get pulled into too many meetings.
- I'm also concerned that we will agree to do things in conflict with the vision my boss has for our department.
- I'm concerned my boss's boss and my boss have conflicting ideas about the tasks my department should do. I want to avoid surprise in this area and flush out any and all issues on this point when I can.
- I'm very concerned we will overcommit ourselves (a weakness of mine).
Ideas to deal with concerns:
Department "Backlog" or Activity Log - I have read about Scrum backlogs, and I like the idea of having a public list of current activities viewable by all, along with a list of the next tasks we will do, with the order of priority. I have tried this in my past position, and people (above me) were downright opposed from having to log in to a system to check it, so I just sent weekly updates. Another issue is getting my team members to buy into this. I would like to do this on SharePoint. I know these backlogs are usually project specific, but we are small enough that I would like to expose the entire department's log to the other departments. Good idea?
Steering Committee - I would like to have quarterly (monthly?) meetings with my "customers" throughout the organization to get their input on priorities and new projects. My boss does not like this idea. I believe she wants to have ultimate say over the priorities, but this is complicated by the fact that she is very liberal in letting me work out tasks, timelines and projects with other teams, with almost no guidance from her. I believe I could convince her to do something like this, but I might need to be creative about the process and the naming. Any tips?