For those unwilling to read the whole story: the manager is passing us his tasks because the boss forces him to use terrible tools, yet he doesn't want to talk with the boss. This makes us look less performant in our tasks, but he won't defend us.
Our manager is a good guy. However, he's the manager because nobody else in the team wanted such title at that time (before I even came to the company). He's not willing to do the management tasks along with his development tasks, and from what I know, he was fine with just coding. However, he has a higher salary, because he's managing.
This caused him to slowly move some of his development tasks to other people in the team, so that he had more time to manage (Over the last months, this flow of tasks has increased by 3 or 4 times). This should be okay, but I'm worried about his management will. The boss directly contacts us and gives tasks. The manager is apparently there to answer more technical questions than organising (something a tech lead would do), and instead, when something more in the organisational side happens, pointing the boss or let us do until something blows up.
I know that many of the decisions taken by the boss are not perfect, and he knows that too. Some of the procedures we follow are plain outdated, slow and are only done in such way because the boss "read it in a book", probably from 25 years ago, for a non-development company. We have few organisational tools, but most of the information comes and goes in spreadsheets, because "it's easy to create". Most of the time, using spreadsheets slows the manager down, especially for stuff that can be done automatically by the tools we already have.
This has made him pass onto us also the management tasks. Basically, we're now also dealing with deadlines, time management, scheduling and key performance indicators (of ourselves). These tasks are not hard per se. It's the way we have to do them, that's hard. The manager knows it, and he is so aware of this that we prefers to pass the problem around the developers instead of sitting down with the boss to talk about this.
To give numbers, over the months before this happened, only maybe 1 hour of every 40 was spent on management (on our own). Right now, it's raised to probably 1.5 hours. Per day.
We, as a team, have shown the manager our concern and offered him tools and support to confront the boss, but after these months, we're turning into a much harder situation to swallow, so everyone's more tense. The manager doesn't even reply to emails from us anymore, not even the task-related or friendly ones.
The boss doesn't see the situation as such, but after we've all (including the manager) "reduced our efficiency at work", he's raised some red flags about our commitment to the tasks and "our projects". From his point of view, the tools we use (spreadsheets) are perfect and the problem resides in our commitment. The manager won't say a thing to defend us or himself, not even to say he's dropped his tasks on us.
I've proven my boss in the past that by spending a day on preparing a tool to replace a spreadsheet, we save days of worktime. I've even spent my free time polishing this to demonstrate it works like a charm. But the boss is absolutely against using anything that's not a spreadsheet.
Nobody on our team can take any more of the manager's tasks on our side. This is causing the whole team to get grumpy, reluctant to manage ourselves and unmotivated. Our focus on the main tasks has decreased over these last months by a whole lot. The boss won't fire or demote the manager, as he's a "good man in the middle". Some of us are starting to check his work as well, because we suspect he's doing nothing but passing tasks (and his main role is development, in the end).
- Is simply skipping my "management" tasks the only way to proceed?
- What's the best way to tackle the "lack of commitment" without putting the manager in a situation?
- Should I "betray" the manager and talk to the boss about our "new duties"? (I'm pretty sure he won't care as long as everything's done)
- Since I'm now managing myself more than my manager, should I ask for a raise similar to what the manager got to do his job?
- Is it time to update my resumé?
The last two questions are jokes, although they come every now and then to my head