Tales about Aviation, Coaching, Farming, Software Development

Resisting change due to lack of trust

How I view someone has a dramatic effect on how we can work together. I will interact differently with people I respect or with those I think they are fools.

Those I respect I will probably approach in such a way that it shows how much I respect them. I may feel compelled to not approach them at all or at least not frequently. I may even be a bit afraid and worried when interacting with them. Not out of fear but because I don't want to appear as a foul in front of them. Them respecting me might also be part of what I wish for and what I don't want to loose.

With the fools it is much easier. I don't really care about what they think of me and I don't care who they are and what they do. They are just fools and not really of any concern to me. So when I have to approach them I do it as I could care less.

Besides the fools there is another category of people I might not respect. It's those about whom I think they are working for me because they have to. Or even stronger: those who have to serve me. It doesn't really matter why.

My own perception affects my interaction with those around me. In the context of work in larger organizations it is also the perception of my department or its leaders that affects how we can interact with the members of other departments.

I may view myself as being part of "the business" and define what a software system should do. Being part of or close to those who run the actual business puts me in some sort of position of power - simply because I define the work others are supposed to do. At least I may think of it that way.

Now in an act of human weakness I have found a large group of people essentially working for me: the programmers in the IT department. It's "them" who have to deliver what "we" define. And speaking of business… They better do it on time and within the budget "we" have defined. Of course with high quality or else "we" won't respect those programmers as professionals.

Change is a good thing - isn't it?

No. Not really. By virtue of being part of "the business" I have earned myself a position of some influence and there is probably also some kind of job security for me. I am needed. I am translating and interfacing between the programmers and the other members of the business side in our organization.

Why would I want to change that? There is no incentive for me. Or is there?

Someone tells me that I should collaborate more with the programmers and testers. To help them create the right software. Why? I have already defined what "we" need and they should just build it as I have described. Their stuff usually doesn't work the first time, which is probably due to sloppy testing and hence I blame the testers too. Because of that I have to waste a lot of time going and back forth anyway. I have my own reputation to defend and I can't really babysit "them".

New opportunities

On the other hand there might be new opportunities for me. If I can find a few of really smart programmers and testers I can trust, then maybe what seemed too risky for me and my career in this organization may turn into an opportunity. Sure, "they" still work for me but in a much closer way than before. I might try to sit with them and tell them examples of what the software should do. They have been telling me that they can use my examples as automated tests to verify their code. If that's true, then I would really get what I have defined. That might boost my career in our organization. People may recognize my contributions. That doesn't sound too bad. I should probably try it but first I need to find programmers and testers whom I can trust.