How to Avoid Micromanaging and Start Leading


Micromanagement prevents a manager to work effectively and productively. The action limits what a project manager can accomplish during a day. This stifles productivity and may also contribute to project failure.

As a project manager, you need to identify the dangers of micromanaging and take steps to avoid the destructive behavior. Micromanagement occurs when project managers don’t delegate tasks. They insist that the work should be done in their own way. This approach is harmful to both the team and the project.

Here are some tips that can help you avoid micromanagement and get more things done by your team.

1. The Reason for Micromanagement

You must first determine why you micromanage in the first place. This is usually due to mistrust of the team. While sometimes micromanagement is essential such as when employees are new or face a project for the first time, in most situations you can let them work on tasks at their own pace.

When you realize the reason for managing at a micro level, you will know what it will take to make you hand over the tasks to the team. This can include training employees, hiring qualified and experienced individuals, and implementing online team management software to manage tasks of each employee.

2. Prioritize and Delegate

Managers who micromanage generally try to do all the tasks — both important and unimportant ones. By prioritizing your work, you will find out that some tasks are not that urgent or important. You can leave those tasks to the project team.

3. Trust your Team

Another important step to avoid micromanaging employees is to trust them. You should provide opportunities to employees to develop skills that will make them proficient at work. Let them know that you have complete trust by backing off and allowing employees the freedom to complete tasks at their own time and pace.

As you demonstrate trust towards your employees, they will more likely try to meet your expectations. They will become confident, motivated, and responsible for completing tasks within time and budget.

4. Keep it Simple

As a project manager, you need to keep the instructions simple and concise. Avoid over explaining tasks to employees. Let them try to figure out how to perform the task in an efficient manner. You should give only the most relevant information that is related to a project.

5. Assign Tasks to the Right People

Every employee has different strengths and weaknesses. When assigning tasks, you should make sure that the employee is capable of completing the project. Your job is to match requirements of the project with the skill set of the employee. In this way, you won’t have to worry about tasks not being performed according to the expectations resulting in project failure.

In the end, remember that you can’t just give up micromanaging overnight. There must be a systematic process to transition from micromanaging to efficient management.