Dear Bob ...
We have a legacy MRP system that is the backbone of our company. That is, it's the source for 90-plus percent of the data we use daily. I was hired, in great part, because of my knowledge of this system; I worked for the vendor of the system some time ago and wrote a lot of the code in use today. This legacy system is not sexy, but it works.
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Over the years, we've added several GUI front ends to make it look better, and I was instrumental in creating the interfaces that allow them to work in real time with the legacy data.
Lately there have been several new front-end systems added whose initial launches have been dismal failures due to the lack of consultation with me, the MRP "guru." Recently I had to cancel a scheduled vacation because our applications department was rolling out a new front end. Since I hadn't been notified of this, of course the "hooks" didn't exist and I had to come in to create them.
Just today, the lead programmer informed me that instead of the three transactions originally specified for the interface, there is a fourth one that needs to be handled; apparently, this was known earlier this week, but I was only told of it today. So here I am, coding up that change.
I work in operations, not applications, but I have spoken to my boss and the applications manager about this situation in the past, to no avail.
Aside from slapping them upside the head (mentally satisfying but probably of little use otherwise), how can I communicate to my boss, the applications manager, and -- if need be -- the IT director that this type of conduct hurts everyone? After all, applications looks bad when new software rollouts are ill timed and ill prepared; the company suffers from the wasted effort and multiple starts and stops; and I'm forced to rearrange my schedule to accommodate these last-minute issues.
Dear Excluded ...
I can approach your question from two angles: how the organization should behave and what you can do about it.
Regarding how the organization should behave, you've identified the symptom but missed the root cause. The symptom, of course, is that project teams don't involve you until far too late. Here's a guess: If they bring you in late, they probably bring other "subject matter experts" in late, too.