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Turf Wars

By Becker-2004 ·
Hi all. I am a network admin that is mostly technically oriented and not that up with management practices. I have been managing my network and user base for many years.

I am in a situation where I am up against a more experience manager that has IT aspirations but not very technical. The manager can't setup a network share between 2 PC's - but the manager has plans of creating their very own ERP system that will be completely independent of the ERP already in place.

The manager wants to setup their own IT department that is directly digging into my job responsibilites. The manager has also been very successful in convincing decison makers that any new project and decison come from the manager without my consultation - any problems that arise from it i will have to fix.

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place - and am willing to continue doing my job, but i would like to make sure that accountability for bad decison making on the part of the manager remains in their court and they are held responsible.

how does one go about that in a professional manner?

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Where is your boss?

by JamesRL In reply to Turf Wars

This is one of those things you don't want tot tackle alone for fear of being isolated. Your boss needs to understand the issue and work up the executive ladder on this kind of thing.

As a service provider to this new project, you have a stake in how its implemented. You need to ensure you have a voice even if its to late to have a veto. Your manager should help make sure this happens.


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Also cutting in on your boss's turf?

by Salamander In reply to Where is your boss?

James Linn is right -- this situation calls for your manager's involvement. Remember that if this person is cutting into your turf, this person is probably, by extension, cutting into your boss's turf.

You mentioned that this will cause support problems for you...Perhaps you should go to your boss with a list of concerns. Will you need extra staff, equipment, overtime budget in order to accommodate this project? Any risks that have not been addressed? Will these responsibilities negatively impact your ability to do things that you already do for your boss that he/she values? Specific examples that impact your boss's bottom line that have not been addressed by the other manager may cause your boss to sit up and take notice.

If you are seeing specific project risks that the manager is not addressing, you can also try to document those risks and while supplying some recommended solutions of your own (in a helpful fashion, of course. The best way to bring up a problem is with multiple solutions). The manager may choose not use your counsel, but if something breaks later on down the line, you have addressed the issue to the best of your ability in a proactive and helpful manner.

Best of luck.

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by Becker-2004 In reply to Also cutting in on your b ...

thanks to both for the helpful replies.

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What's the problem?

by RCOM In reply to Turf Wars

Submit porposals of what chages you would suggest on the projects that the manager is trying to do. Get involved with what sounds like a situation you'll be dealing with.

Get with the manager and have an informal meeting. Found out what the project is and let him know your "consrtuctive" concerns. More importantly as a team member offer your support like you're supposed to do and this will work out.

Look for opportunities to further your career, perhaps before it's all said and done maybe there's something in this for you.

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Team Player=Doormat for PHB?

by Too Old For IT In reply to What's the problem?

"More importantly as a team member offer your support like you're supposed to do and this will work out."

Been there, done that, and when the project went up in a mushroom cloud, was booted along with everyone else who was a "team player".

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Team Player

by pmwpaul In reply to Team Player=Doormat for P ...

Domument, Document, Document!!!

Domument everything!!!

Make directional suggestions to correct issues without offering the exact solution. Refer the manager to technical manuals, send "white papers" that discuss the issues and provide enough rope for him to hang himself.

Print out every email and bring it home. If you do lose your job and you have the evidence to show you were incorrectly let go, the unemployment office will go to bat for you.

Good luck and CYA!! (cover your abdomen)

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I agree totally

by Hazza In reply to Team Player

I too was caught up in one of these. When the s*** hit the fan I had all the e-mails I had sent to the manager about the potential issues and my recommendations. Needless to say I survived the bloodletting and was given a fair amount of sway (and most importantly was included from the start) when other projects came up, even if they weren't directly related to IT.

All I can say is to make sure you know what you're talking about, make your recommendations as you would as part of any team (don't even think about trying to withhold any information!) and document everything (including their replies to you). If you have any concerns that they don't acknowledge then send those to your boss, in the first instance, or another manager who has involvement. As I was the head of IT (we had only just been formed) I had to send it to another manager.

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Cost : Benefit Approach

by Dilbert-Tom In reply to Turf Wars

Redundant systems always cause redundant maintenance and result in 'bugs and "features"' that require nearly double the time to analyze, resolve, test, and implement.
Lay out in terms of anticipated cost what ongoing reconciliation and audits for consistancy will be - and how they are of no value at all when redundant systems are trying to do the same job...
Then as an alternatve, propose what changes might be done to existing (ERP ?) system to have it serve this manager's requirements... The benefit of an integrated solution (and of keeping the IT aspiring manager's fingers out of your systems) is twofold: 1) Whatever benefit that the manager can describe and 2) Savings from avoiding need to reconcile and do double maintenance.
If you do not have an established Change Control procedure in your area yet, define one [heck, put yourself in charge if you can] and make sure that any changes go thru some kind of acceptance process before implementaton - and in the case where the 'problem' manager is implementing stuff himself, make sure that he is accountable for all maintenance and support for whatever he turns over.
Remember to ALWAYS be documenting process issues and avoid identifying the problem manager specifically - let your management 'discover' who is disrupting the structure, this keeps you out of the related politics [don't even try to challenge him directly, because that presents a chance that you could lose]. Clear documentation of Change Control, Support, Auditability, and minimiation of redundant effort should serve to increase visibility to your management and provide them with tools for escalation if needed.
You have two problems:
1) Threat to system stability and maintainability (and risk of need for increased resources to support).
2) Political issue that this "IT Aspiring Manager" may 'outrank' you - so you could lose if a dispute arises [so do not deal with him directly, use your manager].

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by Becker-2004 In reply to Cost : Benefit Approach

i am not going to take on the senior guy on my own.

but my boss seems to have given up and come to terms with the new order. time to be nice to the new guy or look for other horizons. hope IT picks up in 6 months. :-)

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Not time to quit

by MichaelPO In reply to

If the problem you first described is real and you do what you are suggesting, then your Management career is done. Crawl back in your cube and wait for the fire alarms to go off. Next, Sr MGMT to be standing there asking what you are going to do about it? At that point you will not be able to say, I told you so.

Get with your boss, close the door and find out what is going on. If this non-technical manager can intimidate your boss, time to polish the resume and move on. Let your boss know this, It might inspire him/her to think that he/she will have to clean up the mess without you. Don't argue management or control, Discuss technology, give a thorough review from your prospective, including questions and concerns.

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