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What do you say to your manager when she wants to challenge standard lead times at your company?

I am really starting to get annoyed with my manager. She loves to micromanage but offers no solution or help to any problem. In my company they have something called standard lead times. If I ask a purchaser, for instance, if he could check with his supplier to quote us a different technical process for an article the standard lead time for a result is 6 weeks.

Or the other week I put my boss in the mail when I asked a man at RnD if he could investigate how much of the volume for a specific article could be reduced with a certain solution. His answer was: "I will look at it up. I will need about 3 weeks". She saw that in the mail.

She then comes to me and says I need to push him to do it quicker. I said: "I'm not the man's manager. I can't argue with him about how long he needs to do his job. Perhaps you should talk with his manager and ask if he could prioritize this to get it done quicker?"

I mean what the hell am I suppose to do here? All she ever says to us is to question people, challenge lead times, and push to get results quicker. It's very easy from her position to tell me and others to challenge something but not help when it comes to actually doing it. I just don't know how to deal with her and what to tell her?

4 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    Can you pad the timelines she gets, and then deliver under? Like if it takes 3 weeks, say it will take 4, and then deliver a week early? I assume she is trying to impress her superiors by making it seem like she is decisive and capable. If so, the only argument that would work on her is one that works from that side (top down). Getting her to see reason won't matter, because that isn't what she is interested in, she is interested in seeming like a rock star to her boss. If true, you need to find other ways to satisfy that itch, than bringing things under deadline. Find ways to make her look good to her boss that don't involve deliverables.

    If you have a good relationship with her, you could let her know that she is starting to develop a reputation for being a bit pushy, and it may run the risk of coming back on her at an inopportune time. If she rarely asks to be prioritized, if she really needs it, someone is more likely to make it happen. If she is always asking, there may be a situation in the future where she really needs it, and someone will have had enough, and won't budge. It's not good to be ahead on 9 things that don't matter if you can't make the 10th happen when it's critical because you've burned too many bridges. How might she feel if someone in another division went to her boss and asked him to exert pressure on her to do something faster than she was comfortable doing? How would she feel about that person, and would she help him out down the line?

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  • 2 months ago

    Speak your mind.

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  • Nancy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If my manager asks me to do something within a certain time frame and a piece of what I need to do that comes from someone in another department and that person gives me a time frame longer than the time frame I have to get it done, my first step isn't to go to my boss and say, "They say they need this long." My first step is to talk to that employee as a peer, explain my predicament, and see if he can maybe get it done sooner, even telling him that it would be a huge favor and that I'd owe him one." He then knows that if and when he needs something out of the ordinary or post-haste from my department, he's got someone he can call. That's how relationships are built within an organization. That's how things get done. An extremely bad way to get things done is to have your boss call his boss to have his boss order him to do it more quickly. That ruffles feathers between managers, because managers don't like other managers telling them how to run their departments. And whether that other manager agrees or not, you can rest assured that that guy is going to hear about it from his manager and know that you tried to go over his head and very well make him feel like you tried to sabotage him by having his boss hear a complaint about him and how he's not doing his job in a manner that is sufficiently timely or that meets the needs of internal customers, so he's really going to hate you. So, instead of an ally, you've just made an enemy.

    What I say to my manager is, "I'll get it done." Then I do what I need to get it done. If problems arise, then I solve them, because that's what managers want: people who complete the tasks given to them by overcoming whatever obstacles may arise themselves. You say you don't want to be micromanaged. If so, then don't be an employee that needs to be micromanaged. Right now, you are. You aren't taking ownership of your work and solving whatever problems arise yourself in order to get that work done correctly and timely but instead are dumping the problems back into the lap of your boss. That screams, "I am incompetent and must be micromanaged." The way out of being micromanaged is to be someone your boss can give a project or task to and have full confidence that the next time they hear from you on it will be when you've gotten it done right and on time.

    • Jack
      Lv 4
      2 months agoReport

      I appreciate the response.

      But I don't understand. That might work if it's someone I have regular contact with. But if I write a mail to someone that I have never met I have no leverage, no way to motivate him to help me. He can just say he is too busy.

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  • Lv 7
    2 months ago

    just be like Dick Cheney did back when he was a walmart greeter:

    https://youtu.be/gdJr1uTJuxc

    Youtube thumbnail

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