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I'm an IT architect on a project with a 10+ agile people in the team and I have a problem that my manager sometimes ask project-related questions random people from the team or discuss them with some other people and this leads to rumours. I want to ask my manager to route all important high-level questions about the project to me. How would you structure email/conversation to communicate that to show the importance of this? I thought to start like this:

"Hi manager,

as you assigned me to be an IT architect on this project, I also need sometimes your help to succeed in this role. In particular, I need to follow-up on the questions you asked our team members in the past. Examples:

In the future, would you be supportive to send all these questions to me?

End.

Any recommendations? Any additional suggestions?

  • A similar question was on here a week or so ago... perhaps worth a search. – Solar Mike Apr 14 at 7:03
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    It's very hard to pull this off, @Dan. – Fattie Apr 14 at 13:27
  • Why isn’t your manager doing this already? – Joe Apr 16 at 11:23
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I'd recommend two approaches:

  • Tell your team to direct all such questions to you unless they're 100% confident of the answer. (Nothing wrong with them answering clear-cut questions that have an easy answer that they know.)
  • Talk with your manager (face to face) rather than via email, as it comes off less confrontational. Explain that the questions are causing confusion amongst the team as they feel they need to answer questions they're not 100% sure about or don't have the authority to answer, and if he could direct all such questions to you in future that'd be greatly appreciated.
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In addition to berry120's answer.

It's often a good plan not to ask someone for a change but to make someone want the change on their own. Make it a mess to ask not the one who knows but the one someone's used to ask.

  • Show the answer comes from you no matter who was asked.
  • Show there is more delay if things come to you indirectly.
  • Show there is too much effort triggering the whole crew to find a good answer.
  • Tell the team to respond with "I'll ask Dan about that as he has better overview / knows where to get the answer from / knows more details / I am not busy with this subject, let's find someone who knows .... ".

Of course your team must be on your side and play the game along with you.
Realize this very subtly to not make someone angry or reveal your intention!
Do this only when the situation gives a good opportunity!
Don't put your team down, don't make them appear to have no plan or know nothing.

  • A practical way of doing this might be to set up an email inbox specific to the project, and telling people to direct their queries to it. Give your team access to it but tell them to ask you (or forward the email to you) if they are at all unsure. This gives everyone involved visibility of what is being said, gives other team members the opportunity to learn and presents a more united front outside of the project. Plus they won't have to know someone on the team when trying to find a point of contact. – 520 says Reinstate Monica Apr 15 at 10:43

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