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I am working in a software product development company. I am leading small team of 6 to 8.

As it is a product development, generally we work on some modules and we are good in those modules.

My manager is changing the module responsibilities like

one week I have to lead and another week somebody has to lead the same work.

My question is, is this fine for the company.?

1) Like this, responsibilities are changing, I am getting so confused. Can I ask my manager to keep me under some modules. So that I can do a good job there.

2) Is it some management technique that my manager is following.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Lilienthal, scaaahu, Myles, gnat, nvoigt Oct 5 '15 at 13:40

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • is this fine for the company.? is a company specific issue. – scaaahu Sep 29 '15 at 7:13
  • Ours is a small company, where nobody can question manager(He need not to answer) . – Vishwamithra Sep 29 '15 at 7:32
  • Does the company have solid guidelines for what the lead's responsibilities are? Not everyone is cut out to be a lead and if there's any ambiguity, you just have a rotation of people who aren't sure what they're suppose to do as the lead or when they're not the lead. – user8365 Sep 29 '15 at 19:37
  • Voted to close as unclear since I can't quite tell what your actual question is and as @scaaahu said, whether this is a good approach for your company is a company-specific issue and therefore off-topic here. – Lilienthal Sep 30 '15 at 10:01
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I believe your manager is trying to aggressively cross train, which is the most painful for the employee, but is the best for the company.

You shouldn't stay siloed in one module. You should continue to aggressively learn the ENTIRE codebase and how all of the different modules interact with each-other.

As an employee, id have issue with the ambiguity between lead/non-lead roles (chiefly, my leadership services cost more than my grunt services). I would not expect to be allowed to live in one little module of a codebase.

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In large organizations, it is quite common for employees to have a narrow and well defined set of responsibilities, as the organization needs to keep a vast amount of workflows well organized and avoid rework, mistakes and the subsequent lack of productivity and increased cost. So a model like the one you describe in a large company seems odd, at least in a great number of cases.

Conversely, small organizations need to be quite flexible to survive. Communication paths are well defined because teams are reduced, so changing hats is sometimes unavoidable and does not cause major problems, as everybody has a good clear visibility of the rest of the team and their work.

Also, small organizations are particularly sensible to absences (annual leave, sickness, another employment, or unforeseen activities,...) or changes in the organigram, and the entire organization may be impacted. That's the most probable underlying reason why your boss wants to have several people with the ability to change hats if and when required, because he wants to ensure that the organization stands a sudden layout change.

So although the model in your company is not common, it is also pretty understandable. In the meantime, you should be quite happy that this is happening and take advantage of it. You will:

  • Learn different roles.
  • show in your profile that you are flexible.
  • Contribute to understand the processes from different perspectives (developer, lead,...) and understand what are the challenges.

As a side note, you may suggest to use your shifts when you are not the lead to act as an auditor of your current leader. He manages, but you may also do a sanity check in your/his work. This happens in the aeronautical industry, where the Captain often hands over the control of the airplane to the First Officer. Captain is the ultimate authority but FO is in charge of controls, and acts as a second pair of eyes. This is the ultimate reason why there are two pilots onboard. Think about your role in the same way.

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