Another example of the "IT over the business" and the "process over functionality" mentality happened later that same year. A data analyst was involved with developing a product for the clients, which meant he was working directly with the end-users.
After talking with them, he learned that what had already been proposed would probably add little value to their needs and they likely would not use the product at all. He found out what the users really needed and determined that the modifications could be done without going over the approved hours. He visited with the executive sponsor to get her take on the situation, and she was very pleased with the new suggestions.
He then went back to The Managers with his recommendations. Did this person get a "good job" or "thanks for being proactive"? No way. He was called on the carpet for daring to suggest something outside of the carved-in-stone requirements already set down -- and for being so concerned about the users. The next day, he was belittled in front of two other people (I know, I was one of the two people) regarding his "little users."
The Managers had high disdain and little regard for the business, and they lasted another year before the CTO was asked politely to "pack up and leave by the end of the day." A little later the manager who had reported to him left for another company, and our company ended up hiring a consultant to rebuild the IT department. I decided to stand with the business where possible and survived the subsequent management shuffle and mergers.
Just because someone is a manager doesn't mean they have common sense. To survive -- and help the business survive -- a tech pro must be alert to such damaging conflicts within the company and determine where best to focus support. A little networking on the business side can do wonders for a technical person's future.
More on InfoWorld.com for IT careers and escapes
- One-on-one career advice from to Bob Lewis' Advice Line blog and newsletter:
There's more to on-the-job performance than being right
Employees should care about their company's share price
When the boss likes to create conflict, you have to learn how to win
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