So now we’re after the second (and final) part of the management review.
The second meeting was different than the first one. On the first one, the PMs were active (in a defensive way, mind you). This time they were more quiet.
I know the feeling from past meetings like this: I want out, the sooner the better. I’m sure at least one of the PMs must have thought: Gee, I can raise an issue or two to discuss, but then it’s gonna cost me. Since the solution of problems requires effort, usually by the PM or team members, this will probably come instead of “real work”.
So most of the discussion were between the QA team, the general manager and the R&D manager. And here’s another thing: The PMs are the direct reports of the R&D manager. So they would probably would like to be aligned with their boss’ views.
We discussed this situation with the GM today, and she suggested we should do a separate meetings with the PMs, no bosses. They would probably be more open for discussion. It’s a possibility. I suggested doing mini-reviews quarterly, which can bring more “engagement” as things would be more relevant, and may raise the flags before things happen, not retroactively.
There is some drift between the QA and R&D. I think some of it is the legacy perception I used to have when I was a PM: QA distracts me from my real job. I still think that in order to move things, we need the collaboration of the PMs in order to make changes, if this message will not come from above, it would not be effective.