Sunday, 13 March 2011

Process Drivers

I've never fully understood how companies alien planets end up with the internal processes they do. At some point they don't have processes, then the processes arrive. I've never been there at the time to watch the actual hatching but it must be fascinating to observe, possibly from behind thick glass shields.

Either they "just happen" and later are formalised, or they're actually designed, but in both cases it requires some end thought before they're The Law. Which makes it odd that they end up the way they do.


I've definitely got to do the mission. Nooooo question at all of that. It's actually quite a decent mission involving the hitting of much strange alien technology with the Big Hammer, so aside from normal engineering laziness it's OK.

Problem is that we have to get the work through the change management system. Now, I'm not opposed to the idea of these in general. The concept is that in order to stop people changing stuff at random, all the work has to be vetted. It's a nice way to broadcast each teams working to other areas of the project; and to allow them to veto things if it'll (say) stomp on stuff they already have in progress.

However. I'm the one who has to get the work through this process. Well, my response is that if I'm the one who wants this doing the most, we shouldn't be doing it ('cos I don't want to do the work) and if I'm not the person who wants this doing the most then... shouldn't THEY be pushing it through these reviews?

It's supposed to work that you turn up, pitch the work, make a case for it and the board says yea or nay as to whether the benefits outweigh the risks. But in this case we're definitely doing it -- to the point where we're already doing the actual engineering work.

And even better -- the people who want the work doing are ON the change management board.

The work proposal is written by someone who doesn't want to do the work in order to convince people who want the work done and have already decided to have the work done to decide again to have the work done because the work is already being done and we want to put an approval stamp on it...

The work proposal is not even an artifact of the process, because we've already decided the outcome, so I can't entirely see what it represents, apart from using up time which increases the risk that the actual work (also being done by your innocent engineer here) doesn't get done in time.

This process must have made sense to someone at some point. And like I say the actual concept isn't bad.

But this is stressing it to the limits of credibility, because somewhere along the line the actors and the roles have got mixed up in people's heads.

Of course, your innocent engineer here was thick enough to try and mention all this and everyone in mission command looked at me like I'd done one of those alien acid wees and burnt a hole through the floor.


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