Software optimize

Tech pro feeling squeezed out by manager

A TechRepublic member who has successfully worked on a project now feels he is being let out of the loop. Read the details and see what you think.

A TechRepublic member who has successfully worked on a project now feels he is being let out of the loop. Read the details and see what you think.

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I received an e-mail from a TechRepublic member this week describing a situation that I can't help but think has also happened to one or more of you. Here's the context of the e-mail:

"Over a year ago I was requested to help support a product that was developed by an offshore team but that the local customer complained much about. Having done the initial task successfully, after much struggle with the company's management and the offshore team (which showed evident signs of lack of cooperation in sharing knowledge), I managed to convince the company to transfer the development of the product to my care. From that point I've taken the product to the next level where the company can possibly make a handsome profit out of it.

Recently I've been transferred to report to a new manager. The new manager on one hand shows much appreciation to my achievements in this project, but on the other claims the company wants to elevate this product to another level where the product would be marketable to other customers. In order to achieve this he has demanded me to share my vision as well as technical knowledge to him so he could discuss it with the upper management. In good will, acknowledging the product belongs to the company I have been willing to share a lot of my knowledge. However I have encountered a different side to my manager where I noticed that more than once he didn't want to share openly with me the discussions that took place about this product with the higher levels, even though I've been the person who helped him put together most of the e-mails he sent forth (I did not see the e-mails once they were sent nor was I CC'd on them).

Not only do I feel that the element of trust here is in question, but also the cooperating seems risky to me, possibly jeopardizing my future in the company. I know the offshore team could perform the actual development at much cheaper rate, they're taking my vision, leaving me possibly with no guarantee for a future career in the company or worse out of a job in the long run.

How should I communicate back? Should I be honest and let him know that I don't trust him? Do I really have a point to bargain about at this stage before all the information is handed over?"

It's hard to offer advice on something like this with only knowing one side and perception of the situation. But my first reaction was a cynical one. This new manager knows that the product you've been working on is a hot ticket, and he is trying to insinuate himself into what he knows will be a high-profile success. He's having you compose the e-mails because, even though he doesn't know what the heck is going on, he wants to appear to executives like he does. He may even be taking credit for some of the tasks you completed (a reason he's not showing you the e-mail he actually sends.)

And it also sounds like he's maneuvering to get things turned back over to the cheaper offshore team. If that's the case, he's more than likely been asked to do it by upper management.

I would recommend you go to him and offer to be the liaison between the company and the offshore team just "to be more expedient." If he declines, you'll know he has a personal stake in this and/or that they don't want to risk your impeding the transfer of product knowledge.

I could be wrong. What do you folks think?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

172 comments
mstro7
mstro7

Sorry for the late reply but I just ran across this and felt compelled to put in my 2 cents worth. I have been authoring software for over 20 years and have seen major attitude shifts on several levels. First of all there is no such thing as company loyalty to employees any more. If a recently minted MBA can see on a spreadsheet that the company will save a nickel by letting you go, guess what, you're history! Also software has gone from being an art form to being a commodity. "Have x amount done in y amount of time". I, personally don't like it but you gotta get over it. If you have a friend within the company that is on the other side of those emails you may be in a position to try and ascertain the manager's true motives. You can then decide whether an end run around this manager is worthwhile or maybe form another tactic. Acting in the dark generally doesn't yield good results. Regardless of what you do find out, my bottom line advice is; 1) Always do the best work you can. If you can honestly say to yourself, "I did my best", then you'll have no regrets. 2) When sharing your work, answer the questions posed to you but no more. If the manager is not smart enough to ask all the right questions or see obvious pitfalls, he surely won't be smart enough to solve the inevitable problems. 3) Don't take your work problems home with you. We have almost no control over the thoughts and actions of others. As long as you can truthfully tell yourself, "I did my best", then let it go. Don't let anyone rob your time. 4) Prepare for the worst. Updating your resume and sustain contacts just in case. Regardless of job setting, our industry is a fluid one. Always be prepared to go with the flow.

jefferyp2100
jefferyp2100

As an employee, your work belongs to the company. But you should be concerned about your manager's response. Your manager may be one of those controlling people who only share on a 'need to know basis' or there may be plans to move development to another team. Ask yourself some questions: If this product is taken away from you, will you still have a job? If your new manager is controlling and secretive, will you still want to work there? Regardless, keep your conduct professional at all times.

tuomo
tuomo

"As an employee, your work belongs to the company." - NOT to a manager if he/she doesn't own the company! It may even belong more to you if you own stock, etc and the manager doesn't, he/she just works there which is usually the case! The definition of manager is to manage, not to own, not needed!

alrocky69
alrocky69

Nowadays I think this is a very usual situation at work as every boss tries now to cover himself first and after look after his comrades. I have to say that not all bosses are like yours, but most of them. I have experienced this kind of situation before and the only thing you can really do is to make sure upper management knows about the undercovered good work you are doing, but do not expect anything back from them, may be just more problems. I would say if you had kept track of the project with a framework such as Prince2 or ITIL that would have eased that pain very much but if your boss is really so arrogant then there are only two options in my opinion, 1- If you really need to keep your job then you should follow his indications, take it easy and do not expect anything good back from him or the company. I would say you will have as many of chances of keeping your job as feeling depressed and out of place after a few weeks. If that is the case then just commit to the duties specified in your contract and if you have a chance find a better job, it is time to move on. 2- On the other hand you can pay him back in the same way. If you were requested to support this project then I suppose there was not obligation in that for you, so you should request urgently a meeting with your boss and upper management to clarify your situation in the company and update your responsibilities with them. If possible bring into the meeting evidences of your good work in the project such as emails or reports and also state the lack of communication from your boss to you on that.

reisen55
reisen55

I have been working with a technical genius (he is frightening in what he knows) for the past 18 months and his arrogance is coming through. According to family members, he is an idiot saavant and if I know less than he does ... well the email chain is now very ugly and I have put it onto hold for 48 hours. What he does NOT know is horrible. Blew up the phone system in a lawyer's office by wrecking VoIP (he never did that before) and almost got lawsuit whacked. And Lawyers themselves are good at lawsuits. So he responded by writing endless emails justifying his actions. Point 2: DO NOT PUT INTO WRITING EVER. He did. He then spent hours, hundreds of them, putting it back together for free. And as a shared account, he wrecked it totally for both of us. So I lost income there.

James.Riner
James.Riner

I'm a CIO, an experienced Developer, and a businessman. My best advice with 30+ years in this business is to Trust in God. Life is a gift, have faith in God and in yourself that it will work out the way it is intended to be. JRiner@Gmail.com

dbecker
dbecker

It's the company's bad for not having an effective service desk and a service request process to manage this boondoggle. First of all, the customer should be dealing with the Service Desk first and the whole thing should have been tracked from the very beginning. Secondly, if the product didn't work, it just didn't work and a company that makes defective products isn't going to stay in business long [unless they get tapped into the bailouts, which is more likely than not, if your business is incompetent and big enough]. So this company did not realize that they had a rotten product that did not work for a customer, a tech fixed it and the customer is happy and now a manager who had nothing to do with it is making a profit off the whole thing. What's wrong with this picture? Now that the company itself has gotten itself into this awful position with rather bad mismanagement all along the way, I have this to say for the company: 1) Fire the manager; 2) Set up an effective framework; 3) Get some quality control in place; 4) Listen to your customers [the management is going deaf, but that works out because they don't listen]; 5) Recognize and reward talent appropriately; 6) Pay attention to more than just the bottom line; 7) Strive to build a reputation on solid products, rather than shoveling mediocre products out the door and then making the customers frustrated and fuming [like Microsoft does -- Excel 2007 had errors adding up spreadsheets!!!!???!! Never mind, after enough people complained, they patched it (without doing much to announce the fixes) Yeah. Don't be like that]. Wait!!! Was this Microsoft?

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

A programmer is bashing MS programming, isn't that like cutting off the hand that feeds you?

dbecker
dbecker

Since I am an IBM Mainframe Systems Programmer at present and a past manager for a major misfortune 50 company [as manager: "Ack! Ack! Let me out" and they did, long before the Business went out of business].

wowfee2
wowfee2

Where do I get one of those jobs?

alec.wood
alec.wood

Polish up that CV and prepare to move in in the certain smug satisfaction that the manager who has no people skills will be left in the brown smelly stuff when you do. I appreciate all the company IP etc arguments which are valid enough, but at the end of the day, dishonest managers like this are what causes high staff turnover in many organisations. I did it, handed in my notice, withdrew into my shell and did so before I had another job lined up - leaving my previous manager in the sh-one-t does not prey on my conscience or my professional self-esteem one bit. We've moved on since the sweat shop days, employer-employee relationship is a two way contract of trust which from the sounds of it, this manager has breached.

IBM5081
IBM5081

As I read the situation, the tech pro does have legitimate feelings of being "left out". The flip side to this is that the tech pro seems to only have value to the company in relation to this single product. His ego is getting in his way. I recommend that the tech pro go to the new manager seeking other projects to tackle. Find out what it will take to turn over this product to a maintenance team or an offshore development team. Management controls the product direction and the investment in further enhancement of the product. The tech pro has done a nice job of getting the ox out of the ditch. Just because he worked magic on it does not mean he owns it now. Hopefully he got some kind of financial recognition for the special effort. It is poor longevity at the company to ONLY be known as the wizard of a single product. It's just software. The tech pro needs to show that he is a jack of all trades rather than the king of one.

tony
tony

This is a tricky one. In my youth I had a boss who would rubbish my ideas and later on they would resurface as his. A few years later in technical marketing support I realised that the customer did not care whatsoever whose idea it is - they just want a solution. Thus I learned to let my superiors take credit for my work. The other aspect is that if you are indispensable, you also cannot be promoted or given more/better responsibilities. The problem here is that the person feels insecure, and the way the manager is dealing with it is fuelling that insecurity. One possible way forward is to think through the possibilities and think through the implications and then put them to your boss. These might include taking responsibility for seeing the project through to the end, preparing to hand it off to another team (and asking what your boss has in mind for you in those circumstances) and the other possibilities. Put all of them as positive alternatives. At this you may well discover whether or not your boss considers that you are a key part in the project and whether or not there are positive plans for your future. Many years ago I worked on a research project at a company that had some government funding. As this was drawing to a close, I asked what I would be doing after this finished. No clear answer was forthcoming, so I found another job starting a few months into the future. Two weeks after I left, the entire R&D dept was closed down.

SoftwareDevExec
SoftwareDevExec

As an executive leading a (product-centric) software development organization, I thought I'd share my view. I started my career as a hot-shot developer, and so have been on every side of this equation -- the naive developer, the high-contribution developer, the mid-level manager, and finally the executive leader. Looking at the manager's side of the equation (as presented by TR Member), I don't see any necessary red flags. A good portion of the manager's *job* is to eliminate the political noise from the software development workfloor. I certainly don't want my engineers participating (i.e., being distracted and depressed) in the knife fighting that goes on around product development choices, budgeting and, yes, labor arbitrage (i.e., offshoring). I don't want my engineers copied on every project proposal, following its ups and downs, or sitting in interminable steering committee meetings and product manager hand-holding sessions -- what a waste of their time and sanity that would be! Everyone has a role to play: software developers develop software, managers manage the process. In terms of the "credit" for the "vision", it's hard to evaluate based on what TR Member has written. It's hard to tell whether this "vision" was an idea for technical improvements, or a full business case (given that TR Member seems uncertain about the current revenue, and seems resistant to optimizing development cost, I suspect the former) ... in the former case, a lot of work is going to go into such a proposal before it actually goes anywhere, with a lot of people deserving "credit". And don't forget that reward follows risk. A manager is responsible for the performance of all of their staff, and for the ultimate outcome. Yes, a manager tends to receive "disproportionate" (from a developer's perspective) credit for projects that go right; but on the other hand, when projects go wrong, the manager receives the brunt of the blame (sure, developers suffer the aftershocks of a failed project, but no manager can defend himself by saying "the reason we didn't deliver FeezBuzz R2.2 was because Oliver is a crappy coder" ... the failure is the manager's). Finally, don't overrate the importance of "vision". People don't get promoted for "vision" -- they get promoted for execution. If you're ever offered the choice in your life to be the guy with the idea, or the guy who delivers the result ... be the guy who delivers the result, EVERY TIME. That said, a manager is evaluated on the strength of their team. A manager who isn't producing stars is never going to go far. Some managers don't realize this (I worked for my share) ... don't let it faze you: they'll get weeded out, and usually pretty quickly; just bide your time. On the other hand, a good manager is going to seek out the right opportunities (which means, when the idea is a demonstrated success, NOT when it's still subject to politics!) to show what a great team she's put together by calling out their accomplishments throughout the larger organization (not to mention succession planning, so that she can move up and on). A good manager is also going to recognize that in order to squeeze the last drop of possible contribution out of you (her job), you need to be enthused and incented about the work you do each day ... and ownership of the results, postive recognition and the accolades of your peers and leaders are the cheapest and most effective form of incentive out there (remember that the next time you get a pat on the back but not a raise ... you're working for a good manager ). Looking at TR Member's side of the equation ... I'm sorry, but I see a toxic individual who needs careful management attention and retraining (preferably) or a quick exit from the organization. The red flags here are: * There's not a "we" in the entire narrative. That may be due to the need to be brief, and to present a particular perspective. However, I don't get the feeling that this is someone acting as a member of the company, as a member of a department, and as a member of a team. "Struggling with management" can be a good thing (always challenge the status quo!) ... but it can also indicate someone who's unable to subsume an individual opinion to the needs of the organization ... or the needs of their peers and colleagues. I'd be interested to know if the other colleagues reporting to TR Member's manager feel that TR Member helps them get ahead in their work. * I see a potentially inflated perception of self-worth coupled with a blindness to margin and P&L. After all the insourcing, the company "can possibly" make a profit from the work. Hmmn. Has TR Member actually figured out how his/her contributions fit into the overall cost of sales vs. the expected margins, and the actual revenue? * I see someone who is unable to recognize that the end product of their work is the company's, not their own, and who is focused on the past, not the future. It is HEALTHY to be vested in what you deliver, and to feel "pride of ownership". But it is DISASTROUS for a company to allow individuals to protect what they've built against better future paths. I expect my teams to go into each day prepared to completely discard everything that's come before, if that's what's needed to succeed. That's what will make them successful. * I see someone who's hiding information and attempting to build in "irreplaceability". Information-hiding is one of the biggest crimes in my book. News flash: making yourself irreplacable may guarantee you a job for the next six months, but it also guarantees that you will never move up, that you are unlikely to move on (until you're shoved out), and that management is looking for a way to eliminate the entire problem space. I would bet that TR Member's colleagues view him/her with distrust, and that TR Member has a reputation in the overall organization as being difficult to work with, not a team player, and out of touch with the actual needs and drivers of the overall organization. I would bet that TR Member is viewed (hopefully!) as still a candidate for rehabilitation, and perhaps a good technician, suitable for lone-wolf-type "nothing to lose" projects, but not for growth into technical or team leadership positions. So ... what *positive* advice would I give TR Member (and others in this situation): * In the specifics of this case, communicate! Ask your manager how your idea is being accepted, what problems have been raised (you need to indicate that you understand that not everything that seems great to you is great for the business, and that business decisions are complex!), and what the next steps are. Let your manager know your concerns about job security and what you'll be doing next. Your manager may be completely unaware that you're concerned ... or, may be trying to manage a problem employee (you!), in which case your questions provide a good bridge for them to open a discussion. * Do NOT follow the advice of others in this thread and "document everything" and "prepare for HR". I'm assuming that your ultimate objective is to be promoted, and to move up, if not in this company, than in another. By the time you're seeking to justify ANYTHING that requires "supporting documentation" or "arbitration", you may win the battle, but you've lost the war. Forever after, you're tainted. You may have saved (unlikely) the job you have, but you've lost your next (higher) job. Your promotability is based on two things: reputation and results. No where in there is "being right". If you're ever tempted to "prove you're right" -- stop yourself! It may bring you some fleeting satisfaction, but it will not bring you long term results. In general, here is my advice to you (again, assuming that your objective is to keep getting promoted in your, or another, company): * Work for the company, not for yourself. Be known as the guy who is obsessive about making the right decision for the company, irrespective of its cost or benefit to you, the individual. Gleefully admit that you are wrong, when you are ... and get better at recognizing when you're wrong! Promote the work of others. Be the first to recommend shutting down your projects when they're not going to deliver value to the bottom line (even if they're complete technical successes!). Bury your ego. Those are the attributes of the most promotable employees. * Study the business, and understand the numbers. Understand the complex prioritization and planning decisions that need to be made within your own organization, and in its relationships with others. You say that your company *could* make a handsome profit from the work you did ... but apparently they aren't. Do you *understand* why not? Trust me, it's not because they're morons (well, presumably not all ). It's because there are complexities around resources, or priorities, or contractual relationships, or product definition and branding, or any of a host of other things. If you can characterize your discussions in these terms, you're promotable. * Be the ultimate knowledge sharer, not the ultimate knowledge squirrel. Instead of trying to jealously guard your ideas (which makes it all the easier for someone to "steal" them, ironically), share them with everyone! Document everything that you know, so that anyone could do your job ... and you can move to the next better job. Be the oil that makes the machine move smoothly ... don't be the problem cog! Then you're promotable. * Make your manager look good. Whether you like it or not, and whether it seems fair or not (and whether or not it works 100% of the time), your success is tied to your manager's success, and a good portion of your reputation is tied to what your manager is saying about you and the daily decisions they're making about you. If they feel that you're working to make them look good, to make them succeed, then they'll be working to make you succeed. Not 100% of the time, but most of the time. If you want to get ahead, get over your ego, and get over primitive notions of "fairness" and "equality" -- they're standing in your way. * Conversely, for the managers in the crowd (or for you, as soon as the advice works for you and you become a team lead), make your staff look good. Accept no personal credit, and insist that it all belongs to your team. Call out the stars on your team, and work with the rest to *make* them stars. You're not a manager because you're a doer, you're a manager because you can make others do. * Don't be the dinosaur who fights offshoring. Be the avatar who makes it work. You have nothing to fear from offshoring ... unless you fail to realize that those guys in Chennai and Kiev are just as smart (or smarter) than you are, and just as good (or better) at banging code as you are, and that the global value of a line of code is based on their $1200/month (including benefits) income, not yours. What they *can't* do is interact directly with your customers and business colleagues. Be the glue; be the conduit. Help the offshore teams succeed (they need your help!), and in doing so, you will be a success ... and a hot commodity both within your company, and without. Good luck!

steve
steve

I am currently in an executive position myself and while your understanding of the best way to behave and the best approach is irrefutable, it comes with dangerous assumptions. If indeed you are right, and I am not presenting a weighted perspective, then TR Member should doing exactly as you say. I tell my own employees and my students (I Teach IS Security in the evenings) that if you are going to throw sacks of potatoes, be the best damn potato sack thrower your team has ever seen. Make it easy for the grower and easy for the distributor and next thing you kow you are driving the truck...but drive it better than anyone else before you. All of this is great advice for an employee of a company that follows the rules you and I know to be contingencies of success. I am not suggesting that this behavior ever be anything but the norm but as an added layer of protection; shop around. Be aware of your value in the marketplace. There is the imminent risk that the conversations you suggest TR member have with management shortens his/her life expectancy at said company. There are unscrupulous leaders in many organizations...and even most of us believe ourselves to be of greater intrinsic value to our organizations than we actually are, todays economy breeds an employer perspective blinded by the bottom line. In closing, TR member should be the best possible employee...looking for every opportunity to better the company and thereby as a bonus better himself/herself. Nevertheless, we spend money smarter when we have it to spend. Make sure you have a Plan B before you present your LEGITIMATE concerns to your employer. Exactly as SoftwareDevExec mentioned, too few managers realize the importance and value of promoting superstars within their department other than themselves.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

My opinion, FWIW ... and its not worth much. First, we have only one side of the story. And it'll be almost certainly a slanted and biased view, of course. I'm not criticizing the author of the email, its quite normal human behavior, we all do it. Next, I have no clue about the contractual agreements and terms of employment that person is operating under. But as a general rule, most times in a court in the U.S. the IP rights for the software are gonna be found to be owned by the company if that guy was assigned by the company to work on the project, worked on the project during "company time, and was paid by them while doing said work. This is a discussion which comes up now and again where I work. And which has come up in the past when I worked for previous employers. In the kind of job I and my peers do, we routinely develop new, unique software applications which are in turn sold to customers and "hopefully" make a profit for the company. It's part of our routine work, what we're paid to do. In short, its THEIR products ... the company's. Theirs to use, sell, modify, etc. And in fact it is routine for one of us to develop a new or significantly modified and improved application, which is then turned over to someone else to maintain, further enhance and improve, or whatever. That's just the way it is. We all, where I work, understand this. The only particular "claim to fame" we make is that buried within all code generated, we not only include the name of our company as the "owner", we each ensure that the actual developer's name, or each name for a team of developers who worked on the item, is included. i.e. "Programmed by John Smith, 9 May 09". The company for whom I work is fine with this. And quite understands that each of us wants our little claim to fame. Not to mention, each of us keeps a little "portfolio", personal copy, of such accomplishments for use in the event of future job hunting activities. However, we have signed an acknowledgment that in fact the final software belongs to the company. And while we have NOT got a "non-compete" clause in our contracts, it is implicitly understood that if we go to work for someone else we may not use, in that future employment, code that our current employer claims to be their property. And they do make every reasonable effort to check on this. Now there are times when one of us sees an opportunity to develop a little something of use and value in our particular specialty area, which we do not want to "share freely". Has happened before, will happen again. In such cases the programmer strictly avoids working on such a project during company hours, or using company owned software or hardware. Case in point. One of our programmers developed a utility that is very useful in certain lines of work we engage in, saves enormous amounts of time and effort. He presented the company with some demo copies, final compiled code, and let various members use it to see what they thought. But he did NOT release the source code, and there was an initial splash screen declaring his ownership of the app. It was declared useful and wanted by those of us who tested it. And the company made a side deal with him to by legitimate copies. But he never has released the source code. Same fellow made another piece of software that was useful to our customers, but likewise did all the work on his own time, and has sold copies of that to our customers. At a previous place of employment, I developed a database app, on my own time. The company for whom I worked used a specialized database app for a certain purpose. That app was developed by an independent company and bought from them. It was okay, but IMHO had several flaws and lacks that I thought I could improve upon. So I developed my own version. Using a totally different programming language (Clipper), totally different user interface, and with substantial "usability" changes. I didn't have access to the original source code, so if any of mine copied the original it was strictly coincidence. Locally, within my region (I worked for an international corporation at the time) I released copies to local management to try as they wished. I'd included the facility for it to import all the data from that other database (and to export to it), and to even synch with it at user selectable times. Folks tried it, liked it, and started using it in preference to the corporate owned application. I did NOT release the source code. That was mine. I did however encourage folks I'd given copies to to send copies to their peers to try. Eventually "corporate" sat up and noticed. And I was asked to give them the source code. I pointed out that the app was done by me, on my own time, and that source code was NOT free. Finally they made an official offer to buy it. And I took the offer. Not something that made me either rich or famous. They paid $50,000. Which, honestly, was more than I expected to get. Was a welcome and nice bit of sideline income. I figured at the time that I probably had ~1,000 hours invested in it. Not counting time I'd spent on developing several subroutines and functions originally used in other apps I'd made, and reused in this new app. OTOH what I was paid was a small pittance as compared to what corporate had originally paid for a corporate wide license to use that other application (the price of that was well over 6 digits). But I was neither sorry nor disappointed with the check I got. I had my moment of fame. I learned a lot, which I later used to my advantage, while developing that app. The extra money came in real handy, I still own a property I bought using that extra cash. I got the personal satisfaction of knowing I'd bested a software house with a team of programmers who specialized in the sort of software I'd developed all by myself. At a later time, when layoffs were occurring at that place where I was employed, I know that my development of that app was used by my boss as one of the arguments for retaining me. And the fact is I didn't have the time, skills, contacts, or resources to really market that app on my own. Many a good product has flopped on the market place due to little more than poor marketing/business skills on the part if the product developer. So I was happy ... even if I didn't get rich or famous. These days my "on the clock" programming efforts are bought and paid for by my current employer, as are the results thereof. I still, occasionally turn out a sideline product. Usually a handy little utility. Highly specialized, single purpose. Meant to save time and effort in certain tasks. (I work in a very specialized programming field) I distribute and give away copies plainly stating that they're free to be used as the user sees fit. But I don't release the source code. Most of this stuff is only of use to specialists, my peers or our customers. Haven't made a dime off any of these. But several have been found to be very helpful and useful by those concerned. I do know that my peers and my boss have noted this. And I think that the results are that my activities along this line are one more check mark in the "pros" column of decision making to keep me around and working for this company. In the current economic situation, we have had to do some layoffs and position elimination. So every little bit of extra effort and contribution helps one employed. As concerns the original email poster. I don't know all the facts. Perhaps he has a legitimate concern. But I'm not sure that getting confrontational or paranoid about the situation helps. My inclination would be to just keep plugging away, doing the best job I could, being cooperative and a "team player", and hope for the best. He might still get shafted, but if that happens then it is likely he'd get shafted anyway. One way or another decision had already been made to eliminate him. You can not force someone to like you or to want to keep you around. They either will or they won't. All you can do is put forth your best efforts. As concerns that guy's manager and the action of not sharing the contents of emails being sent. That could be viewed as a hint that the guy is being set up for a shafting. But, OTOH, I know that where I work my boss does not share all of his email communications with his superiors with me for various reasons. For one, some of them are none of my darned business. Two, some are routine chatter back and forth about a subject which I might have interest in, BUT its the type of stuff where there is no resolution made yet and the type of things being discussed are aspects of consideration which I wouldn't really have any interest in. Likewise, he does not fill me in about certain numbers being discussed. Discussions of exact budgetary figures, costs, man hour estimates, calculated profits to be made, and so forth are not considered something I "need to know". Understandably. BTDT, have been "The Boss". And at times when I passed word on to those who worked for me, I did not give them the REAL NUMBERS. I gave them numbers I wanted them to work with and within. Didn't tell them for instance that a certain budget allocated for Project A included NN amount that I told them about, plus ... 15% that I definitely wasn't gonna tell them about. That extra 15% was MY business, not theirs. It was my hedge against unexpected expenses. I didn't want to have to spend it unless necessary. I knew about it, my bosses knew about it, but those people who worked for me definitely were never told. If I'd told em, odds were they'd take actions that would result in my having to spend it. It's human nature. It's like a previous position I held. Where I was, among other duties, a budget manager for an organization with ~ 600 employees. Each year all the various departments would submit to me their projected budget needs. Now, I knew those were inflated. How? EVERY receipt for actual expenditures in a year passed through my office. I can read adequately, and can manage to add 1 plus 1 and arrive at the correct answer most of the time. And knew what those people did, and what were nice-to-have items, and what were must-have items. In cases where I did not know this, it wasn't extremely difficult to do some investigation to find out. My job, my duty to MY boss, was to make the budgets and funds work. To manage them. So I'd compile the whole sum of requests, and knowing that things go wrong and that that it is typical that one never gets "full funding" as compared to what you actually request, I'd add a bit. A hedge against possible problems. And against the inevitable "that's too much" cut that the powers that be would make. When we received our approved budget, for each column/class of fund, I'd remove N% from the real numbers before passing the info along to the department heads. They never got to see the real numbers. The ONLY person privy to the real numbers I was working with was MY boss. The guy I worked directly for. He received an entirely different spreadsheet summary from what anyone else saw. Oh, he'd see what both those under him, and those over him saw. But on the side, privately, get got an additional printout that showed the funds I'd held aside, hidden. His contingency money. To be used if something went wrong. Or, if there were remaining funds towards the end of the fiscal year, it was money he could use to fund special projects, or release to his department heads for purchasing "nice-to-have" items, etc. All this is ordinary practice done by a lot of folks in all sorts of businesses and organizations. Where I work now, upper management, salesmen and project managers don't reveal ALL the true facts or numbers to the workers. They'd be fools to do so. IMO. It's just human nature. Reveal the fact that you've got an extra $50,000 squirreled away for this project ... just in case ... and let it be known. Somebody is gonna decide they absolutely, positively NEED this or that extra item they'd have otherwise done without. Reveal that you actually projected, and budgeted for 1200 man hours for a project vice the 1,000 hours you told the workers ... and someone is gonna drag his feet just a little more than he otherwise might have. My point is that a manager might well have, usually does, certain discussions with his bosses that are not any business of a programmer that works for him. That he does so, bodes neither well nor ill for the programmer ... necessarily or automatically. Might, or might not. We don't know. Haven't enough facts.

dallas_dc
dallas_dc

There are not enough facts, and too many assumptions to really decide what the real story is here. I would recommend that the Tech Pro have a honest conversation with his manager. Let him know that you want to do a good job for the company, but you feel left out of key discussions. Establish a comfort zone for the conversation, then delve into some of the areas where you are making some assumptions. Ask the manager what his vision is. Tell him that you need more feedback from him and upper management on the progress and direction of the project. You never know, he might invite you to a meeting so you can get some first hand info. Good luck!

mloucel
mloucel

But I was stup.. enough to believe that there is good people in the world, my rear was kicked and I was soon unemployed, thank God I had the original source of the product, by the time I was "let go" I had enough time to screw the source enough to give troubles (UNETHIC just wait), my manager with his "brain" tried to find the error, couldn't do it, so the question was WHY?, then he called me and offer me money to find the error, I give him a copy of the pink slip I was given, somehow one of the managers saw my name, call me and as soon as I told them I was the brains not him, they ask me to proove it, I did, got my Job back, and no XXX was not let go like me, he worked later for me, I am no longer with the company, but the satisfaction of being smart is still with me, Call me cheater well you are not in my shoes, Mortgage, car, insurance, 2 kids, etc. Besides a good foxbase programmer would have found the error in a blink of an eye.

bblackmoor
bblackmoor

I have seen this happen before. The prescription for this is simple: go over the manager's head. Talk (*not* email) to whomever this person reports to, and express your concerns, preferably in person. Also, in the future, if you write the email, then you send it. Period. Doing someone else's work for them is an ethical violation, and you are under no obligation to do it.

wowfee2
wowfee2

Believe it or not, I have been in the industry for over 30 years. Some of that time has been as an Engineering Manager; most of it as an individual contributor. The situation you describe is really pretty tame. I have witnessed, and have personally experienced, much more traumatic situations that this. Things have changed dramatically since the start of the DotCom boom. Prior to the boom, professional managers typically received training, where they learned how to manage situations like this effectively. They were imparted with traditional values, such as respecting the value of an experienced contributor. Unfortunately, today we live in a very different world. It is rare to find a manager in our industry that has been the beneficiary of traditional management training. Not only have individual contributors been commoditized, but also have line- and mid-level managers. With the advent of outsourcing, if has become a dog-eat-dog industry. I really dislike having to put it this way, but it is the cold, hard truth. My recommendation to this fellow is to keep your chin up, do what is "right," realizing that you are fortunate even to have a job, and don't compromise your own values. At the end of the day, what is important is that you feel good about yourself. After all, what does it profit a person to gain the world, yet lose their soul.

tuomo
tuomo

Yes, and I have been in business over 35 years. From time when everyone got some training on management (just in case) but before "sensitivity" training - heh! Yes, you had to have a thick skin in IT but also you were treated like a human being. You are right, it's actually early 90's when the signs came up, managers didn't get any training (I don't count PMP or such which are almost useless!) but started to be more like politicians fighting their own turf - a downfall for many companies and corporations! Used to work on some with billions revenue! There used to be and I'm sure still are many very good management education (NOT training!) courses (or actually camps or whatever) but mostly (IMHO) they have turned to money making business same as for example the IT certification and other IT business. Used to teach both in 70's and 80's - educate and sometimes but seldom training! And once again, even salaried CEOs are employees of the company - they, as managers and others, work for a company, not for "a manager", so forget that or ask IRS who's actually paying your compensation.

wowfee2
wowfee2

Management training, management education, whatever. We used to call it charm school. Whatever you call it, the point is that this has pretty much all gone away. I did receive a generous portion of this attention in the distant past, as did virtually all of my peer managers. Despite what non-managers thought, it did help. It made a big difference. As an individual contributor, one of my primary responsibilities is to ensure I am replaceable, not so that I can be fired easily; rather, in case something happens to me. This is one of those traditional values imparted to me early on, when the level of mutual respect and trust between managers, who represented the company, and individual contributors was much higher than it is now. I suggest that an individual contributor who hoards knowledge is no better than the so-called "political" manager. Whoever pays our salaries, in the end we have to answer to our own conscience -- at least for those of us who have one. And I pity those sociopathic persons who don't have one!

stephen.sandifer
stephen.sandifer

I've read the (admittedly edited) email three times and I still can't determine what the writer is adding to the project. Specifically, what does "I?ve taken the product to the next level where the company can possibly make a handsome profit out of it" mean? Is it a money-maker or not? What did you *do* to ... take it to the next level (does that mean it's a finished product? Or just not as buggy?) The writer admits that the offshore team could do the development, and it's the writer's "vision" that the writer wishes to protect. It sounds like someone needs to be brutally honest with the writer. It's not the "cooperation" that's endangering his/her future employment. It's the fact that the writer can't explain what has been concretely accomplished AND how the writer can further help his/her employers by remaining attached to the project. Of course, with my cynic's hat on, it also sounds like two middle managers competing for turf...one of 'em should be fired just for morale.

ranthony2
ranthony2

Do the following (it worked 200%+ for my son, in a similar situation) -- Make sure your resume is up to date. Generate a list of accomplishments on this project and with this product. If you have kept a file of the emails involved, print them off. Write up a list or plan for your vision for this product. Put all of the preceeding into a binder. Get in to talk with the next manager up -- ie: the guy in charge of your salary, not necessarily this guy you report to. Take the binder with you, talk with him, and ask for a raise. Here is where the laundry gets washed. You do not necessarily have to share everything in the binder with him, but it is not a bad idea. By building the binder you have created and organized a persuasive reason you should get the raise, etc. You will probably have to share your misgivings about your present manager, and you may learn what's been going on. If you have a result similar to the one I know of, you will get a 20% boost in salary and your present manager will begin reporting to you.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

I hope this example is 'real world' & not 'Perfect World'...

Beoweolf
Beoweolf

There are several issues which show this is is a 'tainted' situation. The original "lack of cooperation" from Off-shore development and subsequent assumption of a potentially lucrative project/product by the OP is either laudable - or the first salvo in this escalating game of deceit. Bringing the project back in house could be seen as "empire-building" from another perspective. From a managment point of view your squeeky wheel has cost them money they felt was not actually needed. Apparently, someone was, more or less happy with the production - even with the failures, uncooperative track record and the distress caused to the customer - managment was content, until the OP caught the attention of upper management. The project is now being fast tracked but this time managment is being proactive. They appear to want to prevent another case of one person/one team ownership. I would suggest, since you have done what you set out to do (fixed the bottle-neck and satisfied the original customer)... maybe its time to move on? I agree - it may be time to have a one-on-one with the new manager. But instead of holding on to this "tainted" hot potatoe - it might be time to see if you can be reassigned to the next troubled project? If the new manager is really cutting you out of the picture, taking credit for your sucesses - this gives him the chance to he needs. But it also gives you a chance to gracefully step away from situation which you currently find toxic or at least see which way the wind is blowing. The one thing you do not want to do is cast the impression of desparation or move this into a situation which can, in anyway, be painted as a threat to "take my toys and go home". Jobs are hard to find but they are not worth what you seem to be going through. Someone has to be the adult, in a no win situation it might be better to withdraw gracefully rather than force a confrontation that (based on relative "power") - you will lose. If you can get the manager to document your contributions to the success of the project, since it was brought back in-house, thats even better. It'll make a great recommendation while you (discreetly) search for a better position.

tuomo
tuomo

Sounds normal with my 40 years experience. One thing for people defending this manager, managers work for a company and you work for a company, NOT for a manager! Whose name is on your and his/hers paycheck? Most managers try it but ask someone on top what they think about it. You might be amazed of answer and it might even cause some changes on how and what you do. Now, fighting over a product, etc is not a good idea, you lose to a manager not matter what, one way or another, managers are gods by definition today, they can do nothing wrong - until.. But losing gracefully may be very beneficial for your future, you learn to avoid these situations, maybe don't offer your knowledge so freely next time (loss for company but that's what hey support?) I have seen many good products destroyed by this kind of behavior, just amazed that it is still allowed and sometimes even encouraged?

dbecker
dbecker

Students, Hijacking 101 requires the following textbooks: 1) Snakes in Suits by Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak; 2) Moral Mazes by Robert Jackall; 3) The Management Trap by Dr. Chris Argyris; 4) Assertive Incompetence by Douglas Becker. Extra credit for those who read "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful..." whatevers and writes a paper on how hypocritical it is [for pointers, read "The Management Trap"]. Everybody is lying. The most pathetic liar is the Tech who believes he / she has done a good thing by improving a product that makes it better for a customer. It wasn't worth the time and effort: In the end, it will go back to being the way it was, and the poor schmuck who improved it will be worse off politically speaking -- he / she should have just left it alone instead of meddling with a perfectly mediocre product. It should be pointed out that although the manager is [if we can believe the Tech's presentation] a psychopath and is working [ala "Snakes in Suits"] to destroy the credibility of the Tech for his / her own gain, it is the company which selected this sociopath in the first place. Trust the company. They know what kind of managers are best to keep themselves in business [for no other reason than for self-existence]. The best thing for the Tech to do is shut up, stop being helpful, share nothing and maximize and leverage their position while objectifying their manager as their manager has objectified them. The best thing to do for interpersonal relationships with this manager is to discretely and secretly undermine his / her credibility at every turn to those that matter without being caught. Machiavelli may be helpful, but the original list above is better because it is more up to date. Everyone lies. To succeed, get good at it. And stop worrying about anyone else, because, in the end, they don't matter, only you do. Stop whining. Someone may hear you. That would be bad for your career.

redhotdancer
redhotdancer

It may be too late to show who is really the one making things happen. What should have happened from the very beginning is the lead engineer originating all correspondence and cc the so called manager. Also, any meetings with upper management, especially technical ones, the lead engineer should be present too. If the immediate supervisor balks at this, then one or two options remain. 1) Go over the immediate supervisor's head and put it in writing. 2) Time to be looking for a new employer. There is the slim chance that upper management is purposely directing the immediate supervisor to behave this way. If so, attending an upper management meeting or two, as well as becoming the orginator of all communication will show which way it is.

Tank-at-Large
Tank-at-Large

Wow...Everyone is making this person's problems about them instead of looking at the problem. This is a communications problem on several levels. If you believe the credit for your work is being taken by your manager, then quit assisting the manager in those efforts. You owe your allegiance to company that is paying your wage. It is nice to be able to trust the Management the company provides, but you need to keep a document trail of your efforts to protect yourself and the company. Simply request that your manager forward all request for input to future email and Project updates to you via an email. Provide that input/project update back via email. Reason for your request: The project has entered an important phase and you are going to be putting all your focus there. This how you develop an audit trail of your activity and efforts..something I believe you should have been doing in the first place. Archive that audit trail you create and keep it closely about you,it goes with you when you leave, for the night or forever.

jnenadal
jnenadal

It sounds like a typical corporate buttrape to me. Some people burn buildings down, some steal company property, and others just take it. However, some put hidden little pieces of code in their crap that leave a backdoor just for themselves or a self-destruct of some sort... in case of these things just like this. Which route will you take? While these tactics are unethical, so are theirs.

mark.gonzales
mark.gonzales

It sounds like you've been with this company for awhile so leaving for another job isn't as easy as it sounds. Starting with a new company means finding a good company with decent benefits, flex time, and overall good working environment. You might find yourself working for a similar type of manager. I think being upfront and honest is the best policy. Let him know your concerns. If the two of you just can't see eye-to-eye then looking for a new job might be the right answer. Just be careful! The economy in your area of the country may not be promoting a move at this time.

ccadman
ccadman

That is IT..... Anymore it is all good 'ol boy networks and not about who is better at the job. I have been there, am still there, and do not see nay light at the end of the tunnel.

markbayne99
markbayne99

I would begin to create a paper trail beginning with a courtesy email to your supervisor. Depending on far along you are in your conversations with your boss, you should carefully structure your missive as a recapitulation of what has transpired to date (i.e., "Dear [NAME]: I wanted to give you the courtesy of a quick email to follow-up with you your request from me to share my vision as well as my technical knowledge of [NAME OF PROJECT] so that you could discuss it with the upper management. I haven't heard how well it was received by the powers that be." Moreover, if you're virtually certain that you're being torpedoed, you might wait a couple of days and be prepared to send a copy of the email to your boss's boss if, following a telephone call to (him/her) that you haven't heard from your supervisor regarding the project, you would be able to corroborate to upper management "your" initiative with the recent email to your boss. However, be strategic in your calculations and be prepared to deal with the consequences of fall-out. If nothing else, the moral of the story is to establish a paper trail of relationships of this nature by acknowledging requests or "demands" and, depending on your relationship with higher management, utilize the "bcc" tool in your email settings. Good luck.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

If you have to document everything you do to stay viable at a company, than the company is not a positive environment - UPDATE RESUME AND LEAVE COMPANY!

Beoweolf
Beoweolf

Unless you have already prepared the ground work; at this point our intrepid OP is swinging in the wind, he has no reliable backup. Any upper level manager, especially of a subordinate who has a potentially troublesome employee is likely waiting for evidence of going outside the "chain of command". Unsolicited emails to the next level is never a good idea. Never leave a paper trail unless you are sure its one that want the "wrong person" to see, cause most likely thats where it will end up. If you can't get agreement that something is wrong with a well placed conversation in the elevator or in the hall, then you don't have the right rapport needed play at that level. Even worse - you leave a paper trail that proves you are 'disgruntled' ... not good!

DHFMC
DHFMC

If it feels like the pressure is there, MOVE ON!!!

Anita Y. Mathis
Anita Y. Mathis

Some situations can force you to make a move you wouldn't have taken otherwise. It doesn't sound like our fellow tech pro wants to be the manager, he/she just don't want to be walked on. High profile success can turn into high profile failure. Someone/thing may be trying to save 'em from a mess. I stress being a team player because it's the right thing to do. My promoting anything otherwise could damage my future success.

PunkRock_PM
PunkRock_PM

Something similar happened to me once. I was naively trusting and operated above board in good faith with my manager. I even went so far as to cover for him a couple times when I could have exposed his sorry, lying nature. It did me no good. He was the wall between upper management and reality. They only heard his side of things, and he had architected a situation Machiavelli would have been proud of. I never had a chance. A good manager would operate above board with you on the matter that you have no backup and that's an exposure for everyone. A good manager would problem-solve with you, not behind and around you. This kind of smarmy behavior has been normalized in corporate environments to the point where it's not even considered bad anymore, but it is. If I had to go back and repeat my past experience with that manager, I'd put the cards on the table with him. I'd tell him that I'd love to help and be supportive of his strategy, but I can't do that if he isn't sharing. Some managers are of the school that thinks reporting employees are too dumb to understand the mystical workings of upper management, but that isn't the case - especially in IT. Another suggestion is to have skip-level meetings with the uppers if possible. Keep it harmless though. If your request is met with a curt "talk to your own manager" then you have your answer. Some managers are threatened by employees smarter than themselves and will go to great lengths to remove the threat, even if it means losing a really good employee. These managers are fine with sub-par work and lower quality if it means they can be the shining star all by themselves. They equate that to being necessary. "Bob's the only guy who can get anything out of that group." Cover your Assets buddy. If you suspect the handwriting is on the wall - it already is. The best decision you can probably make is start looking for another job and trump any move they might have coming.

doogal123
doogal123

Exactly - I went though this myself. When anyone is really harping on you about doing documentation of this sort above all other tasks (and ESPECIALLY in light of THOSE EMAILS), your position is about to be eliminated by that manager as he reaps the rewards of your efforts while sacking you. Make your financial adjustments, don't take on any new financial commitments now. Ideal scenario would to obtain a new job fast and leave fast before they can RIF you. It is easier to get another job while you have a job, and there is absolutely no doubt about that.

R1scFactor
R1scFactor

I think the Tech Pro is right on. People are deliberately skirting around him in a clear effort to keep control over this person. Management has an obligation to manage, not to be a dictator. Trust and information sharing is a two-way street in successful institutions. The manager appears to be doing a number of things, some of which were addressed in the article: - Intentionally keeping the Tech Pro uninformed - Leeching the details of a project as to better make the Tech Pro expendable. - Leeching via "demanding" that the Tech Pro share his vision of the product - which I have a lot to discuss on this part alone! - Having the Tech Pro compose or co-author the emails. The manager should not be trusted. He is a flake and potentially a fraud. I'd guess the manager will be claiming a greater influence that he really has, taking as much of the credit for himself as he can. I'd also guess that the manager is also staging himself as the person with critical information, stolen from the Tech Pro, in order to either establish job security or leverage financial gain from the vision of the Tech Pro. Generally speaking, Intellectual Property concepts where ideas the employees come up with belong to the company are not unheard of. I don't totally agree, but it's as simple as keep your mouth shut and don't initiate any personal projects based on your ideas while employed (i.e. Bratz Dolls). The Tech Pro should keep his mouth shut. The company does not own ideas that have not been shared and cannot force a person to share ideas. It's not legal. The manager's "demanding" of these ideas raises many red flags. I think the Tech Pro needs to exit the company. If the vision is that good, there's a better position than just the flunky submissive Tech Pro that bows down to the flake manager.

Anita Y. Mathis
Anita Y. Mathis

If your work was initiated outside of the job and was totally unrelated to your current position, you might be able to convince a judge that it was yours by the end of the lawsuit. Some companies have written policies with time limitations about accepting positions from competitors after the employee has quit if they believe the knowledge gained through them could compromise their position in the market. You can't fight every battle. I wouldn't pick this one. It doesn't sound like his/her entire career hinges on it. And one manager (probably a growing manager) shouldn't make you quit. I believe you quit for opportunity.

CoachRick
CoachRick

I've read most of these responses and it is in my thoughts that "gshowah" offers the best advice -- so far. And all of this is based on, as Toni stated, 'only knowing one side and perception of the situation.' The keyword here being "PERCEPTION". We do not see the world as IT IS but as WE ARE. Ergo the reason that when a police officer collects stories from witnesses to an event (i.e.: a car accident), the number of distinctive stories is a large percentage of the number of witnesses -- each sees it in their own way. Additionally, advice offered is what others perceive from the perception and is based on their own viewpoint. Much of this advice sounds quite logical and some may even be on point for the person who made the original post. Here is what I offer. "If you don't like what you are getting, change what you are giving." I get that trust may be a foundation of much of what is going on here. And the only way to resolve that, and probably much of what is going on with this situation, is to have an honest and open conversation with the manager. To make that work there are several things one must do and the first is to eliminate all the preconceived notions that this won't work. Go into the conversation with a clear idea of what it is you want, figure out how to share that information in such a way that it is totally focused on you and not become threatening to the other person. Speak from a calm place within yourself and from a place of neutrality. It is not as difficult as it sounds, especially if you truly want to create a solution to this. Feel free to contact me with any questions about what I have to offer.

jaybee7
jaybee7

I have read various TR articles over a period of several months but never felt compelled to comment as I have in regards to this article. These are my two quick comments . First, I believe this does demonstrate the fact that we really cannot trust management to guarantee our employment even when we do everything as required to the benefit of our employer. The fact is that essentially the company looks out for itself and does not care about employees in the long run. Second, looking from the other side, your writer maybe now experiencing the very same thing that the person from the previous outsourcing company felt initially when the project was being taken from them. This emphasizes the need for us to see things from both sides. Finally I would add that the way I now look at my career is that I need to see myself the way the company sees itself and look out for number one, me (and my family). It appears that the best way to do this is by being a provider of outsourced solutions.

taweiby
taweiby

Being a Content Authority, I have read your story. I know that ideas move around and are shared which is means of building the company. As far as credit, I would not write an document or email and not sign it. If you boss whats the information to send up ladder, don't let it look like he wrote an email you did. That is cheating yourself.

gsmith440
gsmith440

Happened to me about eight years ago. I wanted to advance with in the company and a mid level IT manager didn't seem to like me yet others I worked for / with did. I applied for other IT positions as they became available, only to get passed up. I found that i could not go forward or even sideways. I moved on to a mew company. Good for me!. I advanced quickly in this new company. I found out that that mid level manager never made it far up the IT ladder. He was forced to move on...imagine that! I got what I wanted and he got what he deserved! What I am saying is, in life we need to remain positive and good things will come to those who have earned it!

asics447
asics447

Been there and CYA 1) Document everything - emails that you wrote for your boss and of course your project - every aspect of it- for your knowledge 2) Do your job to the best of your ability and get all the knowledge you can 3) Look for another job just in case ( Be Proactive) 4) Be careful with upper management It is very political and you need to get a sense of were you stand and the enviorment that you work in - I was that liason and helped in everyway I could but seen the writing on the wall and got out of Dodge - I gained knowledge and got rid of those 4:00am calls from overseas to physically reboot servers that were not even on the same continenet. Good Luck

Anita Y. Mathis
Anita Y. Mathis

Intellectual property belongs to the the company. Vision belongs to the individual. The overall success of the project is what matters most. To me, it sounds like he/she just wants to keep their job and be credited for their work which is reasonable. Someone higher up is probably the true source of this perceived dilemma as stated before. The fact is, they tried to do it offshore with the previous client but it didn't work . It may/may not work now either if the offshore team is the problem unless they change that. I'd give them what they are entitled to. It would be nice if the manager knew more than they did but they don't so just help them out. Something good will happen for the tech in response to it. The good may simply be being viewed as a team player.

dbristol
dbristol

You need to kick this to the next level. Obviously, you've shown your loyalty by providing essential info for the new manager to work with - he has the basics. From here on, ask questions - make this a development issue. "I can't answer that without a little more detail - are we going this way or that?"