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Sometime ago my manager changed and the new one never bothered to understand the product we're delivering. Because of that whenever he's giving a description of our product it varies between a bit inaccurate and complete nonsense because he likes to use buzzwords which he doesn't understand.

Examples:

  • (Him) Our application runs on iPads. (Reality) Our application is a Windows desktop application which has never ran on an iPad and probably never will.
  • (Him) Our application is a webapp which uses machine learning. (Reality) Our application is still a desktop application which doesn't use ML, AI, block-chain or any other new buzzword.

Problem is he's never shared that view of the product with me, the information I heard is from either colleagues in another department or from people really high up the food chain.

Personally I have never used the description he uses and whenever I was asked by someone I mentioned it's true capabilities not it's imaginary ones.

My question is how should I approach my manager about this or even if I should?

One important things that maybe I should have mentioned is the project has been completed for about two years and I know for a fact that no one in going to work on it in the foreseeable future. Because of this I think this is either a misunderstanding of the product and just enjoying to use buzzwords.

To answer @Joe Strazzere question: This product is presented like this to other people in the our company, but also more importantly to possible customers. As for repercussion, at least for me I'd say close to none, this product has been completed before the change in management and I have never given to anyone a description like that.

To add even more information to the question. I have never heard the parts mentioned here in person, but he has described features of the product to me that do not exist and I've corrected him multiple times. Because of this I have no reason to doubt the parts I've heard from others.

  • Does this answer your question? How do you approach imparting technical knowledge to your superiors? – gnat Feb 11 at 17:36
  • How messed up is this? Where I work, I'd get myself, my manager, and my boss in one room, and only two of us would come to work the next day. – gnasher729 Feb 11 at 18:15
  • Sounds like you've never actually heard his description, I think you need to know what he is actually saying before you approach him to "fix" it. Do you actually know how much of the buzzword usage came from your manager vs someone's interpretation and re-telling? – cdkMoose Feb 11 at 18:23
  • @BobbyTables question, have you personally ever heard your manager describe the product that way? Or you know your manager does that solely by what your coworkers say? (so I can adapt my answer) – DarkCygnus Feb 11 at 18:27
  • @cdkMoose the parts mentioned in the questions are ones which I've never heard in person, but there have been plenty of other cases where I've had to correct his description of the product when he was talking with me. Because of this I'm not really doubting the other people. – Bobby Tables Feb 11 at 18:27
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My question is how should I approach my manager about this or even if I should?

I suggest you approach your manager, in private, and try the following:

Hello, manager.

Last time I heard the product being described in a way I am not familiar with, and also mentioned some other features the product does not currently have.

I feel like I am missing some details here. Would you mind sharing any insight or plans for the future of this product?

That way you will open a dialog with your manager where the future of the product is described.

Doing this you will be able to (1) smoothly bring to your manager's attention that he is describing the product incorrectly or (2) learn about any future plans for the project that perhaps you didn't know about (and why this sounds strange to you).

Another option could be that your manager is using those buzzwords intentionally, as to make the project sound more appealing (something I've seen happen before)... but you will only know after approaching your manager and asking.

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    good use of "i-language". Instead of "you, manager, is wrong" saying "is there something I, the employee, is missing about future plans?" – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Feb 11 at 17:36
  • Thanks @aaaaasaysreinstateMonica Indeed it's better to pose as one being the one at fault here than directly implying your manager is wrong... which could be the case if manager does have future plans for the project that OP does not know yet. – DarkCygnus Feb 11 at 17:37
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    The problem is that the OP has stated that he never heard his manager directly use the incorrect descriptions. Instead he has only heard it from 3rd party sources. – Peter M Feb 11 at 17:43
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    @PeterM then the OP could start the conversation with "Some people seem to be describing product X with attributes I am not familiar with - are there plans or changes about to be made?" – Solar Mike Feb 11 at 18:21
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    @DarkCygnus any extra information you feel like adding is appreciated, but I accepted the answer as I because I think it offers me a way to approach the problem independent of the actual cause. So please do not change the base idea behind it. – Bobby Tables Feb 11 at 18:40

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