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We have proper process to follow & tools to use. But a senior manager keeps posting the requirements , bugs , on the unofficial channels. i.e mails , chats etc. And our management is so accommodating this.
I have reminded couple of times that this gets messy and makes us double the efforts to copy from there and document it in the original pace.
But this is never corrected. Now I feel like making a protest about this exception provided to him and demand proper instructions to him to ensure he follows the rules and uses right tools. The reason he seems to provide is, "many times he's on the go & travelling & He doesn't want to wait and miss things."
So if this is the case with me, what I would do is to take these notes for myself on the go, and once I settle down, I would log them into the official tools.
Well I'm not sure, many times I quick fire mails and end up stirring the conflicts. And regret later, thinking I could have just ignored it. Now it's THAT moment now, thinking should I load the bullets or just keep them on the covers. lol
Travelling, On-the-go etc - all these look like lame reasons. He's just old school and feels so difficult to tweak his mind to use new tools. He doesnt want to learn anything new. That's the fact.
Starting to think people post kid pics in their profiles because that was the last time they were cute - Jeremy Falcon.
Ask yourself: "how much hassle is this really causing me?"
If it's a lot, then keep bugging your boss and see if he will do something. Probably not, and it won't make you more popular, so if it's really that annoying then look for a new job.
If it isn't, then take a deep breath, hold it for a count of ten, and slowly release. Now get the request into the "proper" system and send him back a message telling him it's in the official channels and he can get updates there.
But letting it annoy you does nothing but raise your stress levels for no good reason...
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You also might go the passive aggressive route. When asked for an update on something that was emailed. Say. "hmmm, I don't remember that email. Was it ever entered in the system and documented? If not then it isn't an issue so please move on. " A few times of "missing" things that were sent via the wrong channel or "losing" things because of improper procedures and knuckhead will eventually learn that your pain is his pain.
Don't make a complete ass of yourself though.
I really hate to say this. But Passive Aggressive is usually the best way to deal with this situation. I myself am aggressive aggressive. But that doesn't work usually.
To err is human to really mess up you need a computer
It is elephanting unacceptable. But posting emails with that wording may not be a great idea. Instead of emailing, bring it up during your team meetings, and discuss how to handle this "noise", and how to get the requests into the system.
Too bad the managers in between are so meek. It is really their job to protect the workers from stuff like this. Perhaps they could use a friendly push to do so...
I had a time, when - lead by a QA manager - all QA members came to me to explain the problem they found, instead of reporting bugs in the right place... I used to listen them and do nothing with the bug... When QA manager asked me why I do not fix bugs they reported to me, I asked - with innocent face - what is the number of the bug report... After he tried to explain me that he is the boss I told him where he can hang it... And told him that there is only one person who can hand me over problems directly and not fill in a bug/request report and he is the CEO (who is the owner too) - everyone else, including her Majesty the Queen, will fill a bug report...
What I'm saying, is that if you are confident that you have a back from the real boss, you can force some middling manager to work proper, otherwise you have to make your decision:
1. Slow down work, by asking for definite priorities between incoming tasks from different sources - to save your own sanity...
2. Merge into the stream - and lost a lot of hair probably
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge". Stephen Hawking, 1942- 2018
Do not try and force the behavior of that person to change, but get an official and written statement that this is the way the management wants it to go (= use toolchain with allowed exceptions). It is of course not your task/responsibility to decide whether or not other employees have to use the corporate toolchain, but you have the right to understand why some people have to and some others don't, and that the answer to this gets documented as a tailoring rule in the process description - so asking the question is legit.
The difference with the complaint is that you are not firing on a particular employee, but you are simply rising a question about the internal processes and how to document them.
If this brings attention to the fact that the particular situation has to change, all fine. If they do want to keep this as an exception, then this is a PITA but still their decision ; you can bring this out the next time the lack of using the toolchain caused a delay/bug/problem @ customer.
Depends on how senior/connected the manager is to the MD/owners etc.
What I would do is fill out the form for that manager, and send it back to him to sign off (as mentioned the wording in the email may be vague, the documented version is what will happen.)
Anyhoo, when he sends it back - and only then, reply with "thank you, now the request is official I can begin doing the work."
It protects you in that you have a properly documented work order that he has signed. You wont be asked about 'off-book work.' Too bad you have to spend time filling out the forms, if they ask then you explain that you have to ensure proper forms are completed to show accountability of your work performed.
Otherwise they may think you are doing ad-hoc/off-book work ... "why, did you do it wrong before? didn't you complete this when it was first done?.... - which makes your work habits look sloppy and hard for them to to account.
Just flick him in the nuts as you walk padt him next. Might not fix the problem but you will feel better watching him rolling around on the floor not laughing his arse off.
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
Next time, write down a clarification question on a post-it note and stick it on the back of a carton of milk in the fridge. When he eventually queries why nothing's being actioned, just refer him to that. He might eventually get the message that using the correct channels get things done more effectively.
As others have suggested (indirectly), let things fall through the cracks. Then play innocent. He's the one not following the rules and procedures in place, and he's the one who's going to look bad for it.
Similar behavior happens here, I get an email or phone call reporting a bug or requesting a new feature. I then have to log into the ticketing system and enter everything. Adds 7-15 minutes to my workflow, although I can't blame my users since if it takes that long for me to enter all the info for a ticket, it probably takes them even longer.
If he is traveling/on the road that often, doesn't he have an assistant who he could send these notes to that could then put them into the system for him?
I'd bet part of the reason is "I'm too important to do that sort of work, I'll just send an email to someone less important and make it happen."
I am doing a contract for a client that does much the same. I get phone calls, emails with terse messages and the occasional screenshot - all used to request a new feature or DCR.
I just take the time to put into the system I put in place to track all this (VisualStudio.com, Work area with Stories, Tasks and Bugs). Then I bill him for the time it took to manage this
One thing though that happens is that often his descriptions of what he wants is incomplete. So I end up doing the same task with changes about 2-3 times. Again, I bill for this.
Previously I had tried to do full specifications and such. But they never read them and considered them a waste of time (well, I guess they were a waste if they couldn't bother to read them). I tried explaining that it was a lot easier to write a spec and changing that, than to keep changing the code, but they never seemed to want to accept that. So now we just go through this dance (and I keep billing for it).
The client has all the access he needs to do this himself on the system, but just prefers to do it his way (with all the issues this produces).
Long and short of all this, in the end you have to accommodate the client/manager. They are the ones that cuts the cheque that gets you paid. You just have to include this in any estimates/billings you do for the work.
The reason he seems to provide is, "many times he's on the go & travelling & He doesn't want to wait and miss things."
Maybe ask the alternative question: Is it true that it is very difficult, while travelling, to complete the corporate process. If so then push back on that. It is a route that you can honestly point to that isn't your 'fault', but is an issue that needs resolving as you are unable to properly respond (and then ensure that the failure to properly respond actually happens - bugs being lost, wrong bug fixed, anything that points to that part of the process issue).
If it is easiest for the manager to use the proper process then that's the route they will take.
Maybe the process itself is borked (as well) - maybe it asks for too much stuff up front, when there should be a short form to raise the issue, which can then be expanded later. It is very common for the initial form to be 5-10 pages long because every possible aspect is listed on the form and has become mandatory for ever box to be completed before submission.
First, stand back a bit, and look at what's happening:
Something is going wrong and it's annoying you.
You're tempted to act on it because it annoys you.
Allow me to be direct about this: sending mails and whatnot is waste of time for everyone involved. Don't do it.
Solve the problem in an agreeable way for all the concerned parties (= management + the senior in question) and then present your solution.
- a solution would entail the senior in question to have less work than the things he's doing now
- it should be profitable and sensible for management
- it should fit within the agreed upon rules, or require only the smallest of amends
If that's too much hassle, let it go. Opening additional emails and team-sites is not an important issue.
OG had a great response. But you MIGHT want to bring it up with this person.
My experience is that they EITHER don't understand how IMPORTANT it is to use the proper system, or how to use the proper system. Finally, they could be thinking that their input is more important than everything else, or that they want to cover their butt because they just realized something.
The right answer late is wrong.
The right answer in the WRONG LOCATION is wrong! (this is his issue).
Depending on where he is in the chain of command... I would sit down, and explain it to him. I would also suggest that WHILE he does this, that's fine. EVERY NIGHT we can have a conference call, and YOU will help him put the emails into the system properly. The email will trigger you to schedule the conference call. using a shared screen technology, he will get his chance to make sure that it gets into the proper system, and he will be trained, in this process.
If he pushes back at this concept, then you have to find out why! Is it because he doesn't care for the processes or doesn't understand how things need to work. He clearly values his time. THEREFORE, you need to give him two options:
1) Doing what you are currently doing will now take MORE TIME. (nothing you email will get into the system, until you dial into a meeting and get it entered!)
2) Finding another way. Maybe he can have a personal assistant. the secretary, or someone else specifically handle his email... This is an important offer. When he realizes that he is CREATING WORK and NOT DOING WORK with his actions, it could help him see the need to change.
Finally, if this is the kind of self-important person who thinks his items are always a top priority (and usually not well thought out), then I would schedule a SET WEEKLY meeting to get his emails from the previous week INTO the queue... Again, offering a solution that is obviously NOT what he wants, to force him to see his actions as disruptive...
Now, if you are his underling, and powerless to speak truth to power... then OG definitely had the right approach!
A lot of people are suggesting to let things fall through the cracks, but if I was your manager and I found out about you handling it this way - I'd be more than happy to follow HR's 'correct channel' and follow that particular process instead. I'd be pissed.
The question you should be asking yourself is - what makes an email or a hallway chat easier than the 'correct method'. What is the correct method for your team/org?
Shouldn't the tools you use for bug reporting, requirements gathering, feature requests and ideas also be accessible AND relatively straight forward to use?
Feedback in the real world comes from a multitude of sources - and that definitely includes verbal and email requests.
That should be ok.
You 100% might have tools and a process to follow - tools that enable you to understand a users / product owners issue, feature request or bug. Tools that help you track releases, codebase changes and bugs. Realistically - part of your job should be to interpret those initial requests and format those in a way such that they can be broken apart into smaller achievable tasks, bug reports (whatever) - things that make sense to you, your development team and to the user.
If a user wants to get on board, and submit those requests using your tools (and manages to do it correctly) - happy days. If not, facilitate making it easier for them, or do it yourself.
That's not a senior managers job - that's your job.
I assumed you are getting paid for the time you took to copy the request from other places to a proper place, right? If the answer is yes, then take a keep breath and just do it. If not, ask him to pay someone to do it. At the end you are really trading your time for the accumulation of dollars. What you actually do in between, could be anything.
Last Visit: 3-Jun-20 9:56 Last Update: 3-Jun-20 9:56