I have seen this in every company I have been, though some of the senior manager were technically the brightest people I know, at some point they seem to be clueless. Everyone underneath is always saying “why can’t they see X or Y” when its horribly going wrong. And at the end of the day it turns out more to be ignorance versus brains.
Let start with most of the places I worked for them fathom themselves as a Meritocracy. And managers try to promote and pay “key players.” One thing about this is that anyone who is smart is only going to inform management of good things, and successes. Anything going wrong they will try to hide and fix themselves in a vacuum. Once fixed, they don’t let managers know as it is not that important. Sometimes these hidden “gems” or issues are not fixed, and people move off or leave the projects, leave this technical debt for someone else. Telling managers they made a mistake or there is an issue (whether it is their fault or not) managers often to shoot the messenger,
So this leads to often lower level people not telling their direct manager there is an issue. Often until its “too late.” Of course this goes for each level of management. As each manager in a hierarchy going up gets less and less information. Thus the senior management often is least in the know of what is wrong. Hopefully there aren’t people telling management that “Every thing is perfect” who are outside the project, adding to the confusion.
Good senior management can not only see through the bull they is being thrown, but has gained the trust of his employees that he wont shoot the messenger. In fact they reward people for digging in and finding issues before it causes a widespread problem. Good management goes back to the phrase sunlight is the best disinfectant. Its not easy to do, as often when someone gives you bad news, you don’t want to believe you are there, how you got there, and how much there is to fix, but in the end of the day, fixing the problems are key, and rewarding employees for success whether it is adding a new feature, or resolving a large problem creates a great working environment.
My world famous disclaimer… so, this blog has nothing to do about my current employer. I provide the information without warranty blah blah blah. I make no money from this blog, there is no advertising, or charges to anyone. I do this as a brain dump, to leave something behind. If you want to support me, instead of doing that support one of the charities i care about, the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Hockey in Newark. Thanks for reading.