Micromanagers dictate doing a web project a certain way. They don’t care if that way is the most effective or efficient one. This can kill speed optimization. Micromanagement suggests a site owner (control freak) doesn’t trust a web designer’s work or judgment.
Micromanagers exhibit narcissistic or workplace bullying tendencies. They micromanage for strategic reasons. They take credit (plagiarism) for positive results. And they shift the blame for negative results to the web designer (fall guy). They delegate accountability for failure. But do not delegate the authority to take alternative action (success).
Micromanagement also involves requests for unnecessary, detailed reports (“reportomania”). They focus on low-level trivia for the feeling of retaining control. Micromanagement resembles addiction. Severe cases of micromanagement arise from mental-health conditions such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder or emotional insecurity. Micromanagers rebut allegations of micromanagement by offering alternative “positive wording.” They may claim they are detailed, structured, organized, or perfectionistic.
Site owners who are micromanagers fear they do not have the competence and creativity necessary for their business position.
In reaction to this fear, the manager creates “strange rules.” These arbitrary performance standards aren’t based on relevance to the website content or audience interest. But rather on the site owner’s desire to please “self.”
Naturally, micromanagement intensifies during times of economic hardship.
Sometimes, micromanagement is a tactic to cut unwanted employees or subcontractors. They set unreachable standards as grounds for termination. These standards may be specific to certain employees. Or generally applicable but selectively enforced only against particular employees.
The micromanager sometimes create a stressful workplace so an undesired employee or subcontractor will quit. Sometimes this is called “constructive termination.”
The results of micromanagement are:
- Poor trust.
- Inhibition of teamwork.
- Self-esteem problems.
- Poor mental and physical health.
Micromanagers have the following bad effects on a business:
1. Hinder employee growth. For a healthy business to grow, competent employees need to learn their jobs, move up the ladder, and make room for new employees. Micromanagers interfere with this process.
2. Obliterate synergy. Since micromanagers tell everyone what to do and how to do it (or do it for them), the synergy that can be derived from teams of employees working together and sharing ideas is lost.
3. Destroy morale. Since employees are constantly belittled and treated as if they are cogs in a wheel, they lose confidence, stop taking initiative, and fail to share their ideas for improving the business. This, in turn, produces turnover – one of the highest costs to a business.
Client qualities (quirks) end up costing extra money – and actually affect page speed. We list below some things that get expensive.
Some people and organizations have expensive client behaviors (listed below) that have little to do with the actual web project. Many are micromanagement project killers. But they require higher price tags – usually a 12 to 25 percent addition. This is called a client multiplier. One of our lawyer associates calls it adding on “The Bastard Tax.”
- The client doesn’t have a single point of contact (multiple people always have to be looped into communication). We stipulate that we work for only one boss.
- The client contact has to get some form of committee approval. Design by committee stinks.
- The client contact isn’t decisive, or doesn’t seem capable to play the “consultant advocate” role well internally. This leads to wishy-washy thinking and frequently change orders.
- The client has a lot of red tape for decision making. Frustration and delays.
- The client’s payment schedules are really bad (as in, we might not get paid for work we’ve done for months). Because of this, we require a 50% deposit upfront.
- The client contact is prone to huge email threads over small issues. This is called micromanagement and it’s a time-killer and ulcer producer.
- The client contact wants daily/frequent phone calls or meetings. We don’t do face-to-face meetings except usually one at a project’s beginning.
- The client doesn’t have a clear business plan, and will require a lot of advising. We call this “web therapy.”
- The client considers minor problems “urgent” and demands immediate fixes. The client perceives simple things as a crisis. But there is no emergency of monetary danger or even loss of credibility. Their loss of perspective increases interruptions.
Client greed, indecision, and fear actually start reflecting in weird features being added to sites that affect site speed. We know: “stranger than truth.” Micromanagement causes slow pages.