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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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Let this individual run his/her course, stick to your guns..

by mikemillion In reply to Turf Wars

Hmmm, have dealt with this in numerous situations.

But the one thing has never failed me, once I have confirmed my perception that the other individual attempting to complete their agenda is a non-technical person trying to cite to management and peers that they have the ability to implement something that does require a significant amount of technical skill that they may or may not have, I stand back and let the individual try to fulfill their objectives. If I say something or complain, then people take the perception that I am jealous, or I am not a team player.

As with any other major implementation, there is always risk to the company and its business, and more importantly your job, so you should always be careful to take note of the activities that are going on, and make sure that where it interacts with your job, handle that to the best of your ability. When any particular risk has the potential to be catastrophic, then yes, like others have said, go to your manager and he/she should be ready to stand up for you, if they do realize your true value to the company.

So, keep doing what you do, and excel at it, and sooner or later Management will discover this either by this individual's own ineptness, or the opportunity for you to 'shine' will be present itself, and management (if they have even one ounce of perception skills) will see that they should have consulted you in the first place.

Just my $.02 worth..

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Develop yourself into a more complete person

by jm2 In reply to Turf Wars

Many excellent suggestions on tactics and strategies; I am writing to give you a different perspective: personal growth.

Many of us, myself included, grew up to believe that the road to professional success was to learn all the technical how-tos and memorize all the information.

But there are other components for successfully getting ahead that we have neglected -- for example, how to promote our accomplishments [for myself, I just assumed that everyone else out there would know enough to be dazzled by my technical acumen but they actually don't know enough either to be dazzled by me or to understand the inadequacy of the non-technical to lead a technical development.]

We need to develop some of the 'softer' skills -- like Leadership, Relationship building, communciation, etc. Our goal is to be more effective within our organizations and be heard and understood at higher levels so we will be less prone to have to clean up someone elses mess. These skills can be built via training, self-paced instruction, courses, etc. I can make specific suggestions if you are interested.

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Handwritting on the wall

by sc_wilco In reply to Turf Wars

Update your resume. If the decision makers have turned a deaf ear to you then plan a graceful exit on your timetable ie look for another job.

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This turf war isn't about you. IT is only the vehicle

by robertmi In reply to Handwritting on the wall

The new guy has an agenda. He wants a part of your bosses' portfolio. He is widening his own sphere of influence within the organisation. You might like to bring a draft organisation chart to your boss and ask him to sign off your area of responsibility to the new guy. If your boss signs then you know where you stand. You have a new boss. If he doesn't want to lose some of his turf, he will have to do something about it. You are entitled to know who your boss is. On the technical side, running two independent systems in one organisation doesn't sound too clever. Perhaps a helpful memo seeking advice on which individuals in the organisation will be part of the new system (so you also know who won't be) plus the usual questions about infrastructure etc. You don't really need this info but if you show willing and make it sound like an offer to get with the program and sort out your resources etc etc you just might give the new guy something to think about. If the show does get up and running you can guarantee that he will want to bring in outsiders to set the whole thing up. He must have some sort of basic issue (real or imagined; actual or political) with the status quo. So, while you are doing all of this get your resume up to date. One last thing. Play your cards close to the chest. You might already have let your feelings be known. In turf wars there are only losers and survivors and you are on your own.

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You Got It

This is a really good approach. Assume the worst and politely ask your good friend, your boss, to confirm it. He may not see the handwriting on the wall himself, so this may be his wake-up call too. That's one way to be very valuable - to demonstrate that you are a political realist willing to go with the flow.

Of course every realist is prepared to jump ship when it starts to head for the bottom, or when the ship's rats move into his quarters. . .

Good luck with this. Just remember that the technical side is not all there is, this is part of the job reality as will - it's called - what ?
Job hegemony?

Steve Mandell

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I'll second that!!!

by ITisForME In reply to You Got It
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I need some clarification about the manager

by ITisForME In reply to Turf Wars

What I interrupt from your Post is that this manager is not an IT manager or even in the IT department. If that is correct and as you say this manager wants to set up a separate IT department for management, or a separate department altogether or both. Then I would as do what ever I could to make that happen ASAP. Help build it and move it off of your plate ASAP. The sooner it is removed from your plate the better off you will be. Let it succeed of fail on it?s own. If they are to shallow or pompous to take the wisdom and advice of an experienced IT professional then do a major C.Y.A. as you document what you are told to do and just do as they want regardless of consequence. Make certain that everything is documented and do as the documentation states. If you have documented proof that you did as you were told regardless of how feeble the plan it is then you are giving the manager a shovel to dig a hole which will bury the manager or to build a throne that the manger will rule from. Either way it?s off your plate ASAP and you go on with your business.

Just make certain that you document your requests for clarification and the responses you get and let fly. The manager will either sink or swim you just need to stay away from the pond so to speak. If the other management is in bed with this manager then all making waves will do is drown you. Get it off your plate and let the inevitable happen. If you C.Y.A. then you are being a smart team player. You will come up roses if fails or succeeds. If it fails then you just whip out the documentation when the bad news comes your way. Management tends to stick together especially when things go bad except when they don?t have someone like you to blame. Then they start pointing fingers and scatter. That is why you must play along and document everything. You wont get the blame if it fails because it will be documented and you will get credit which will be documented if it succeeds. Just play the game by the rules that they make as it goes along and you will be fine. If you are told to make a hundred foot bridge and in the middle you are told to make a ninety degree turn half way across. Ask for clarification and just do it. The egg will be on the face of those who instructed you to do just that. After all management is management and management calls the shots.

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It's to no one's advantage

by maxwell edison In reply to Turf Wars

It's to no one's advantage to continue in such an atmosphere of uncertainty and frustration.

Request a meeting with these "decision makers", as you called them, and the manager in question, and simply ask to discuss "your" job responsibilities. Let them all know that you're becoming more confused about where your responsibilities lie, and you want to review them so everyone can be working towards the same ends.

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Learn and use Manager's Language

by TechAssist In reply to Turf Wars

Your situation is something that happens on many IT Shops today. Due to the increasing complexity of IT technology, non technical managers find many difficulties communicating with their technical staff and indeed reaching their IT objectives. It will be very difficult for the non-technical managers to understand technology at the levels a technician does. What most managing officers are doing is to hire quasi-technical managers to run their IT shops. This managers do not have and in deep knowledge on IT Technology, but they know how to talk into business language.

What can good technicians do to overcome this tendency? Non-Technical managers will not be able to become knowledgeable technicians.

The opportunity is on your side. You can learn to talk into business language. Express your opinions in terms of return on investment, business security, technical workload, cost of ownership, resources, etc. That's the language managers understand. When you talk into bits and bytes they get confused and blame you for that.
Learn their communication protocol, that's the success key.

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Consider "Mutual Benefit"

by leejunchoi In reply to Turf Wars

This is not a war or to say who is the person to blame of. the manager must have some reasons to convince the decision makers, so 1st thing to do is find out what is the reasons!! then start tackling from the reasons.
from the reason, try to explain to decision makers and the involved manager about the cost and time factors involved in having a redundant system in the company, explain to the decision maker as well what will be the outcome if using everyone creating his own set of system, how many extra cost and confusion involved, this will be very interesting for the decision maker.
finally, after all of this, TRY to COORPORATE with the managers, to help create a better solution (IT) for the compony, with this no one will be "hurt" and everyone gets what he wants.

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