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Rat out a peer

By NetTek ·
I am an IT manager for a mid-size company. I also have a co-worker who is also an IT manager. We both specialize in certain areas, but have many similar responsibilities as well. Our primary offices are at different locations.

My co-manager is onvacation this week, so I am covering all network related problems for the whole company. One of our support techs called me with a problem. While assisting with troubleshooting, I discovered that my fellow manager has been, shall we say, less than responsible.

I discovered that he promoted a BDC to a PDC without telling me. He attempted to install a WINS server on a new server, also without telling me, and did not configure it properly. This led to resolution problems across the WAN (the problem the support tech called me about). I also found out that the daily backups have been crashing on one of our applications servers for almost a month (I am not going down for that one!) This is not the first time; problems such as these have been ongoing. He frequently neglects his responsibilites or passes them on to subordinates, does what he feels like rather than what he should be doing, and sometimes I simply take on some of his tasks myself, as they need to get done. I am on him constantly, but I can only push so far as we are "peers". The only reason he obtained his position is out of loyalty by my company (he has been with the company the longest).

I have had it, and I am thinking of taking my documentation to the director because I fear something disasterous may happen and he may bring me down with him. However, the economy is slow, and I am not sure I can handle the guilt if I were to contribute to his termination.

How can I motivate him, especially if he is not my subordinate? Or should I go to the director and let things take their course?

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Paper Trail

by road-dog In reply to Rat out a peer

Send him an Email enumerating his network problems and your fixes. You can phrase it as an "after action report" for when you turn his network back over to him after his vacation.

If this memo is written as a "FYI" for him, rather than a "CYA" for you, he might fix his problems. If not, when the big crash occurs, you will have proof that you exercised due diligence in warning him. Either way, you win.

You might cc the director as part of due diligence, and it won't seem like a "Pearl Harbor" if it reads like a situation report rather than a backstab-o-gram.

You won't help yourself by covering for him, as he is a barnacle on your ship of dreams, and will remain so until he craters the network.

Incompetants have a common trait, that being that they have a gift for dodging responsibility for their errors. His target will be you when his network implodes and he needs to deflect blame.

Good luck....

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Change Management and Lessons Learned

by PTW In reply to Paper Trail

I agree with Road Dog. Put together a kind of incident report, with a section on Lessions Learned from your work, and perhaps suggest the instigation of a Change Managemeent process, and you do not seem to have one in place. There should be some kind of change and configuration management in existence in any network setup.
You come across as dealing with a situation, not placing any blame, and also suggesting pro-active solutions.

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WOW O.M.G H.F.S is this for real

by rrgilmore_2001 In reply to Rat out a peer

I cannot tell you what to do with a problem like this. Yes he is problem. I would die for responsibilities like the one you described. As far as taking the fall for him you are at too different locations. What I would do is let his network take everyone else down; I realize this will cause lots of problems loss of money, time, and most of all jobs.
The other option is going and taking the documentation to the director. After all you have told this clown about his short cumming right?
I take my position very seriously if I think some thing I do might cause a problem I will go and get a manual if need be.
I do not think he take’s his job seriously and he is a danger to business, after all if the network is not up, once again you have a very annoyed CEO, CIO, COO simply because someone does not do there job.
In some companies it is you duty to report him, because if you do not you are as much as fault as he is.
I would report him and not have a second thought about calling it ratting out. You have tried,
You have talked to him!
You have waited your breath!
only the captain stay with the sinking ship!!!!

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Responsibility

by James R Linn In reply to WOW O.M.G H.F.S is this ...

If you truly want to be a manager, you wouldn't for a second suggest letting things get to the point of an outage - thats totally irresponsible and unprofessional. Employees, and espeically managers have a reponsibility to the whole company, to safeguard the best interests of the business.

How you bring up the issue is another matter.

My first thought was to initiate, with senior management approval, an improvement project to harmonise how the network is configured and run. In the process of working through this project, the peer's competance will be demonstrated, but the company's position will be strengthened.

James

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Exchange Program

by jklein In reply to Responsibility

It might be a good idea to suggest am exchange program between the 2 sites for your staff. You could then get an idea of how this guy does his job by observing the work habits of his staff. (Your only as good as you practice.) Interview your returning staff members after the exchange on the other sites work practices and protocols. Then be proactive and and suggest changes to the boss.

Your counterpart might be a diamond in the ruff and needs some more training and structure. Don't "rat him out" but give him a chance to change his work habbits.

If you guys don't have a company IT protocol then get together and write one. This will CYA when he does not follow the protocol. You 2 might have different ideas on how to run the shop and this is causing your worry.

Try to work together first to resolve the issues. If he is unresponsive or beligerent then build your case and document everything, let his network crash and he will hang himself.

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A different approach may be in order

by maxwell edison In reply to Rat out a peer

Since you are both IT managers (middle managers), you both, most likely, have the same supervisor. (I suppose it’s the person you referred to as the director.) Don’t necessarily take your documentation to him/her as a way to complain or “rat out” your peer. But rather request a “coordination” meeting with the two of you (the IT managers), your supervisor (the director), and any other pertinent parties that could contribute to the meeting’s agenda. Thepurpose of the meeting is to “standardize” the way things are done in the different departments. Approach the issue looking for ways to learn from each other’s strengths, thereby identifying and resolving any weak links in the overall “system”. Approach it with an open mind willing to both learn from the practices and ideas of others as well as to teach your own methods and ideas. (This is important even if ALL your ideas and methods are better.) Articulate the benefits of doing things a certain way, and be willing to listen to the ideas of others. But, by all means, include the benefits of “standardization”, “consistency”, and “coordination” between departments.

It’s always healthy to simply “review” how we are doing things so we might find better and more consistent ways. After the meeting you could outline the things discussed – and hopefully agreed upon – and send that review to all parties involved. That way you can have the documentation you seek, but everyone involved, including the co-manager who has difficulty maintaining standards and channels of coordination, had a hand in creating that documentation. In the end, if his behavior continues, he will fail to live up to what he agreed to, not what you expect of him.

In addition, I’m sure he probably recognizes his own weaknesses, and he’d

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continued...

by maxwell edison In reply to A different approach may ...

In addition, I’m sure he probably recognizes his own weaknesses, and he’d appreciate - and probably respond better - to positive suggestions rather than negative criticism.

Maxwell

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The Peter Principle

by ferocious In reply to Rat out a peer

How long has this individual been involved in IT duties? Has this person had any formal training, or is he attending classes and then applying what he's learned to your network?

First things first: Talk to him in a professional manner regarding all the mishaps (behind closed doors), and make sure he divulges everything he has done that does not conform to accepted practices. Second, throw out a few scenarios based on the effects of his actions. Third, offer to help him fix the problems. Personally, I would try to fix all the issues before talking to management.

(If management does not comprehend the IT jargon and that permanent damage was not done, they will surely evaluate his performance and either reassign him to another position or let him go. Even moreso, they will ask you what they should do about him, which will have you walking on eggshells in the meantime.) I don't think management should know about it unless he is so incompetent that there is no other choice.

The ball is in your court, and it is clear that your expertise is more than adequate to handle the problems.

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