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Hi everyone!

I need help with one situation. I have an employee that is now 10 months in the company. He is an expert on his field and has had good results so far.

We have a software development process in place to ensure quality of our product and this employee has now tried to change the process 2 times. In both cases, I felt that the change would benefit him (as he is an expert), but not the entire team and ended up rejecting them, after explaining why. Even after hearing the explanations, the second time I rejected his suggestion he complained that I never accept his suggestions.

I must say this development process was set up by me before I was a manager, when I was myself the expert on the area. Now, I am a bit more distant from the decision point, although I still understand the area pretty well.

My dilema is, I don't want to discourage him from making suggestions, so should I accept a change I don't feel will benefit the entire team?

I think people should be allowed to make mistakes and learn with them. It is just a case where it seems he won't learn anything, as the change would work well for him and probably make him more effective. But he won't see if it is demaging the team.

I appreciate your insight on this!

pucciot's picture

You have mentioned that his process will affect other people.

The suggestion then should be that 

* He needs to identify who in the organization will be affected by the change - Good or Bad

* He needs to build relationships with them and ask for their support for the change.

This is his chance to build relationships with the team.  And see how his work affects others.

It could sound something like this.

"Joe, I can see where your suggestion might be helpful to you and your work.  I am concerned that it may create other ineffective results upstream and downstream in the process.

You are the expert on this right now, and I am going to expect you to do the leg work on this, not just in the process but also with the people involved.

Could you please identify the folks that will be affected by this change - upstream and downstream from your process.

Could you please contact them and ask them what they think about this change.

And then all of you together can schedule a meeting with me to advocate for the change in process together.

My calendar is open on these days.  When would you like me to me with you and together with the other folks you are pulling together. ?"

 

That is my suggestion.

 

Good Luck.

 

TJPuccio

 

 

 

 

Jollymom's picture

Thanks for sharing @felipehs. I experienced that as well before with my team. What I did was do a process evaluation for both the existing and the proposed. Then did check three main things - Time, Cost and Quality. And it turns out that the proposed process is an effective and efficient one compared to the existing - so we did a pilot execution of the proposed process and have it audited after a year. Fortunately, it benefitted the whole team. 

We may be comfortable with the process at hand, but sometimes we need to a bit embrace of a new and bolder move to improve. 

Just my two cents! Hope it helps.  

felipehs's picture

@pucciot and @Jollymom thank you for your valuable inputs!

I spent some time on vacations and when I got back things had escalated a bit and a scrum master was also involved, trying to support the change.

I got a bit stressed and spent some time researching the industry to see the standards for this process. I ended up finding very good specifications that were better guidance then our current process and therefore proposed the change, which was, so far, embraced by the team.

I must say I am happy with the result, although I am not happy with how we achieved it. That is, I ended up doing most of the work myself, what I see as a managerial failure.

Trying to use it as a lessons learned for myself when it happens the next time.