The concept of lower middle management
It is a well known fact that labor in India is plentiful, especially technically accomplished labor. But, with a short supply of qualified management to go around, many companies in India are very disorganized. If workers are not managed properly, they will submit work as completed when many steps in the work were omitted or done incorrectly. This has been my personal experience. American workers do this too, but not quite to the extent that workers in India do. In India, the salary for a skilled project manager or middle level manager can be the equivalent of US$40,000 per year, or perhaps 1.5 Lakhs per month in India. This is roughly 7x the rate that a company would pay for a single experienced call center rep or programmer. My numbers could be off because I have not been in India for a few years, but the numbers are close enough to make my point.
So, there is no solution, right? Not so. India has plenty of people who love to nitpick others, and mind other people’s business. Even those who are not techno-saavy might be qualified to micromanage others if they have good organizational skills. The older generation in India typically lacks technical skills, but many have good thinking and organizational skills, and would be very qualified with a little training to micromanage workers. Additionally, this new class of micromanagers that I am proposing might be able to perform work tasks at even LESS than the cost of the programmers or call center staff members since no technical expertise would be necessary.
The key here is to teach these lower-middle managers how to make check lists of what to check. If a worker has a particular assignment, being able to find the records of what was assigned, when it was to be finished, and what the specifications are would be the first step. Checking to see that everything had been accomplished to specs would be the next step. Creating evalutaion statistics and saving them would be the most valuable and final step. These micromanagers (nagging pests) could revolutionize companies by letting them know who the reliable workers are and who the unreliable ones are. Score sheets could be assigned to workers each month. Maybe Praveen might be a 90% accuracy rate for his work and get a promotion while Surrendra might only get a 20% accuracy rate and be fired.
A joke to finish this post!
I’ll send this article with a joke — but, a realistic one. Ramesh shows up at a job interview to be the “nagging representative” or glorified micromanager — whichever you call it. The boss reviews Ramesh’s resume, has a brief chat with Ramesh, and is not so impressed. The boss says, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”. The next day Ramesh’s mother shows up and barges into the office. She has a checklist of all the things her son is good at and she rattles off the checklist. She then says, “You were supposed to call Ramesh at exacly 1pm IST today, but we never heard from you, how are we supposed to rely on companies like yours?”.
Needless to say, the boss was very impressed with Ramesh’s mother’s organizational skills and thought she would be perfect to manage his workers even though she didn’t know the first thing about programming. So, the boss said, “You’re hired! Welcome aboard. When can you start?” The mother said, “Ramesh will be here bright and early tomorrow morning”. The boss said, “No, I can not hire that clown, I am offering YOU a job — you are perfect.. You are organized to a T, and you don’t allow anyone to get away with a single flaw, not even a missed phone call”.
Then Ramesh’s mom Vidhya goes to have chai with the neighbors — Mr. and Mrs. Reddy. Vidhya said, “I can’t believe I got a job… I am the head nagging agent for Krishnatech Infosoft!”. Then Mr. Reddy said, “Oh, I am not surprized, you are excellent at nagging”. Then Mrs. Reddy said, “Prakash, watch your mouth!”. Then Mr. Reddy said, “Oh sorry, what I meant was that you are very … assertive and punctilious”. Mrs. Reddy responded, “Please forgive Prakash, he has had a few cups of masala chai too many today!” Vidhya said, “I know people accuse me of nagging too much, but now I can get PAID for nagging — the boss said he needs this type of personality, providing I don’t over do it!”
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