"My experience is that much time and many resources get wasted trying to educate peripheral managers on things that primarily involve end-users, their supervisors and managers"
I dealt with that situation. I was developing a database for the program in the division of a college. During the process, I had to work with the college MIS director. I had been working on the database for over a year. We would meet twice a week to go over things. I showed the director what I did and explained why I developed it the way that I did. Well, how about he took everything I did and created a totally "new" database.
It would've been new if it wasn't a blatant rip-off of what I did. So, when we discussed the "new" database, we had a disagreement on several of the tables with how they were different in the new database vs the original. The problem was that the director had not ONCE took part in any of the meetings for information gathering; had not worked with my supervisor...nobody, whereas I work directly in the division and in the program; I had direct contact to all stakeholders. So, after a year of having a working model, then they step in because obviously they could took everything I did and say that "now, I can create a database".
Needless to say, their version was a piece of crap. How do I know this? Unbeknownst to the director, I was having their database and my database peer reviewed by database professionals. And not only that, I was already consulting with database professionals at colleges and universities who developed databases in that particular situation. So, the work I did was on the money considering the tools I had to work with. Back to the disagreement, when I tried to explain why their way would not work for the user requirements, the director get heated with me. Oh, did I forget to say that it was in the presence of several students in the computer lab we would meet in?
So, at the end, the question was put to me should we go with my database or theirs. As much as I didn't want to, I "took one for the team" and said that we would continue with using the director's version. The reason why was that it the database was one major part of a campus-wide effort for what the database was a part of; so, I had to play "the team player". Of course I was very upset that it was so convenient for the director to be a team player now after I have done all the work for them and still was doing the work, because I still had to create the "new" database as well.
All and all, this was one very being learning experience for me on so many levels. You are right, Susan. This is a very real problem. But, it's a problem IT professionals need to be aware of.
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