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Re^3: Enterprise development: Its ok to say No!

by poqui (Deacon)
on Dec 22, 2006 at 18:42 UTC ( #591371=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Re: Enterprise development: Its ok to say No!
in thread Enterprise development: Its ok to say No!

I know this post is way after the fact; but I hope that people can still derive some benefit from it.

I have worked at a shop where the upper management (VP) was a former JGID programmer; and most of our Business Partners (we weren't suppose to call them "Users" or "Customers") were trained to ask for solutions.

We tried for a long time to re-train the BPs into presenting their problems and letting us design the solutions; but it hadn't worked up until the point I left.

I found it very difficult to say "no" in that situation; because when we did, we were "wrong" and had to do it anyway; or we were labeled "purists" and denigrated for not living in the real world where things had to get done.

The business was pretty successful despite these drawbacks.

What do you do in a situation like that? How do you convince the BPs that there is a better way?
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Re^4: Enterprise development: Its ok to say No!
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Dec 22, 2006 at 19:48 UTC

    Well i guess it depends. If you can figure out what the underlying problem is and identify a better solution then you have a number of options. You can provide several quotes for how much work will be involved, naturally the dumb solution will take longer. :-) Alternatively you can simply implement your own solution as a "proof of concept" and then point out they can have it Right Now, or wait some time for the dumb solution.

    Another approach that works is use deductive reasoning to identify potential issues in the design, then write a very carefully worded mail saying that you wont procede until the issues are resolved to your satisfaction, or until a manager provides you with written instructions stating that they understand the issues that you have raised and want to go ahead anyway. This is useful because very few people like this want to be put in the hot seat. By forcing them to provide documentation you are making clear that in no way in the future will you be held responsible for the poor design, and that instead they will.

    I suspect the truth is tho that the only really good solution is to find a different place to work.


      I suspect the truth is tho that the only really good solution is to find a different place to work.

      Glad you wrote different, and not better or the like. To quote one of my favourite german authors (Morgenstern? Hesse? the former, I guess) -

      Es gibt keinen Ausweg außer zum noch Schwierigeren.

      There is no escape except towards the more difficult.



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      Well, I understand your answer; but it hasn't worked that way.

      The better solution usually takes longer than the "Just Get It Done" date that has been given; the time spent on developing the Proof of Concept reduces the time one has to JGID.

      And the other approach of identifying potential issues is shouted down with cries of "purist!" and "fantasy!".

      How do you shift the responsibility to the one who is holding you responsible?

      I haven't been able to. So I JGID, and try yet again to convice someone that there is a better way.

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