"If we all do the same work, we're less likely to miss things"



  • I hoped that when I transitioned out of software engineering that my WTF's would decrease but I'm finding that they're just morphing a little.  Instead of WTF code, I only have to deal with WTF attitudes and behavior.  Here's a great one that's popped up.  So just to remind y'all, I'm now a business analyst for a back-office development team doing internal IT for a non-technology company.  It quickly became apparent that job is really part project manager and part analyst, but I don't mind that.  I DO mind the growing evidence that they - especially my manager who should know the difference given his "lofty" position - haven't a clue what a business analyst does.  On the rare occasion when manager-boy asks me to draft a requirements document, he has an apologetic tone, like "I'm sorry, I realize this is beneath you, but we need this". 

    Last summer they decided to add a new feature to one of our applications that needed a few new screens.  The app is used by our internal business users*.  Instead of asking the BUSINESS ANALYST on staff (i.e. me) to go chat with the users, analyze their needs and draft a requirements document with mocks of the screens, they asked one of the offshore developers to do it.  No, they didn't ask him to meet with the users, they just asked him to do the analysis and design, leaving it up to him how to actually accomplish said task.  So I don't entirely blame him for making shit up.  I mean he has no access to our business folks and no idea what they do or how they use the app.  Color me livid.  

    * The results are as you guys probably expect.  In fact, the UI for this entire application is so crappy that none of our business users use it.  I've mentioned this to the manager, but I don't think he believes me.  Any tasks that need to be done with the app are done by me.  I did attempt to train a few people last year how to do some tasks with it, but it was so embarrassingly horrible that I gave up.  

    So last week we got dumped with a huge project on an extremely tight hard deadline.  It's such a large project that every development team in the company has to complete parts of it, so all of the business analysts are joining forces to document our team's requirements and then combine them all into one project doc.  We're well organized and proceeding apace.  It's only been a couple days, though, and I'm busily working on the analysis/documentation and manager-boy kept calling me over to his desk to point out various requirements and telling me to get more details.  He's sort of doing my job for me but without being part of the BA team or knowledge of what the BA's have been asked to do, and totally getting in my way.   Finally on Friday afternoon, I pulled him into a private room for an impromptu one on one. After diplomatically telling him he's stepping on my toes and unless he thinks I'm screwing up in which I want to know, he needs to let me do my work.  I told him he could evaluate my work when I was nearly done if he wanted, but please STOP DOING MY JOB. 

    His response was varied:  A couple times he said that if I told him to back off, he would.  But he also said that we all had to dive in, he was asking the dev leads to also analyse the requirements, and he would occasionally dive into the code as well as the requirements, and by all of us doing that we'd be less likely to miss something.  When I pointed out that was also inefficient, he just reiterated how important it was that we not miss anything.  I won't do this, but I think it would be fun to have a little chat with HR and ask them why we bother to have different job titles/functions in a department when everybody is supposed to all do the same work.  



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    [...] and by all of us doing that we'd be less likely to miss something.

    There is one thing you are more likely to miss: the deadline.



  • Dear Manager-Boy,

    Thank you for the detailed analysis and business requirements you have provided for xxx. Since you have me doing other things, I shall use them as is because I trust your judgement.

    Sincerely,

    Jet City Woman

    Keep the emails, and add a this-section-created-by xxx comment to every part of the requirements document to CYA for when the stuff built to the specs in sections not written by you hits the fan.



  • @snoofle said:

    Keep the emails, and add a this-section-created-by xxx comment to every part of the requirements document to CYA for when the stuff built to the specs in sections not written by you hits the fan.
     

    That - if someone wants to muscle in and take responsibility, let them be accountable (unless you've been told otherwise).

    .. that the voice of experience, snoofs?



  • @Cassidy said:

    .. that the voice of experience, snoofs?
    Yes, and I've seen it happen to others. Once burned, twice cautious.


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