1. Do you enforce policies uniformly? Allowing some customers to bypass channels may seem helpful, but once everyone becomes special, no one is special.
2. Do you set priorities and avoid changing them? Nothing ruins morale like the emergency du jour.
3. Do you stick up for your programmers? Blaming them for your problems is an awfully quick way to lose them.
4. Are you consistent? If you tell customers one thing and programmers another, eventually they will all realize that you’re the problem.
5. Do you understand the customers’ business well enough to set priorities? No one wants to work on Important Problem #42 when we’re going out of business.
6. Do all policies and procedures take into account the importance of production and dev environments, security and audit controls, quality, and testing? Programmers shouldn’t have to educate you why this stuff is important.
7. Are you willing to do what you ask programmers to do? Working late is fine until you do it 18 nights in a row while the boss is at the bar across the street.
8. How good is your BS filter? Decisions made based on bad data will come back to haunt us all.
9. How “professional” are you? No matter how tough things get, most programmers don’t want to hear your scream, cuss, or throw things around. Better to just leave and let us fix it.
10. Do you buy us lunch once in a while? Amazing how much harder we’ll work for a sandwich and a smile.