Friday, September 30, 2011

Getting Everyone On The Same Page

I was reading this article on TheDailyWTF.!.aspx

Like many TheDailyWTF articles, it's a nice humorous story, but I love the last part of the story.

The short story is engineer Derek could not come to a reasonable compromise with engineer Steve on a solution to a problem. After many internal frustrations, Derek bypassed Steve's engineering team entirely, went to the software install team, and changed the install process for the software. The result? Derek implements his solution without ever involving the team that writes the software. The end of the article states, "Steve's team got to keep their constraint, and the customers didn't."

I love that last sentence.

"Steve's team got to keep their constraint, and the customers didn't."

The core engineering team will never see a setup (and will never know the setup for awhile) that the customers will always have. Long term, that can't be good.

While this is an extreme example, it got me thinking. How often do internal managers/staff not come to an agreement or get on the same page? As a consequence, staff begin doing whatever it takes to get the job done, bypassing teams, roles, procedures, etc. I think tiny versions of it happen all the time. Some amount of it we accept b/c we work with a lot of people, but how much of it can be made better?

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