In other words, the company's approach to project staffing is, if not broken, at a minimum seriously bent. What needs to happen is that every project staffing plan should include, in addition to the core group, an extended team composed of employees like you -- workers with special expertise, who will end up with task assignments that should be built into the project schedule, not spotted as part of the punch list compiled just before rollout.
That's what should happen. The next question is what you can do to make it happen. The answer isn't slapping people upside the head, tempting as it is. The answer is, in fact, probably nothing. The way most organizations behave, only those who are officially part of a process or practice are allowed to have something to say about how it can be improved. If anyone had an interest in what you and other stakeholders had to say about the process, project managers would host postproject reviews where they'd ask and take notes.
If you want to give it one more try anyway, your best shot is to ask for some time with the head of app dev. In your meeting, you need to raise the issue not in relation of when to involve just you, but in terms of your having noticed that quite a few project tasks end up pushed into request queues or handled as last-minute crises, when they should be built into the plan. This would be a good time to reference one of the ironclad rules of effective project management: If a task isn't on the plan, with a clear start date, deadline, and assignee, that task won't get done on time.
Maybe the app dev manager will be interested enough to something about it. But frankly, the odds would be much better if you reported into app dev instead of operations.
This story, "The perils of slipshod project management," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bob Lewis's Advice Line blog on InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.