Can’t we all just get along?

Nothing is sure to sink a project more than fighting between the project team and all the other groups in the organization that it may impact. We have all seen this happen before, the project team needs something from infrastructure, security, or qa (although they should be on your project team…) and for whatever reason, they can’t or won’t help.

Now, I say “for whatever reason” to be inclusive but it is amazing to me how often we don’t take time to ask what the reason is. So it really turns into “for some reason they won’t concede to our demands….” Let me ask you a question, if an infrastructure team member came to you and started telling you how to write your app, would you listen? really? Yet for some reason as developers we tend to expect other teams to just do what we say or take our suggestions as gospel.

So, if you want to smooth the path with your neighbors, you need to do three things.

1) Get their input on your project early. Buy them donuts or coffee early in the project and tell them what you are doing and why you are doing it. Real reasons, not just that it is “the most important thing”

2) When they throw up a road block (and they will) take an honest interest in why they are doing it. Just because it is not important to you does not mean it is not important to them. Take the time to sit and understand their position. Not so you can convince them to change, but so you can find a solution that will work for everyone.

3) Make their life easier. Ask your project team what they can do to help ease the burden of these other teams. If qa is buried, can you do more pre testing? If infrastructure is busy, can you try automated deployments? Be creative.

Now, making their life easier only works if you took the time to understand their issues. Once you start treating these other groups like they are actual people with real issues and goals, you will be amazed how much easier it is to work with them.

tl;dr All the other people in your org are actual people, treat them like they are important and they know what they are doing…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *