Putting Your Stamp On It

I have in the past worked with and from time to time still do work with people who absolutely must put their own stamp or spin on everything.

Let me give you an example. We are designing a database and a process for managing and populating the tables. I sit down with the other developers, we hash out what we need, then we lay out the database. Next, we have a meeting with the project manager to show the design, flesh out the process and begin documentation. Table A, Table B and Table C are source tables for Process 1 that populates Table D. Process 2 takes Table D, Table E, Table F and Table G and produce Table H. Table H is displayed to users. Process 3, initiated by users, takes user input and an entry from Table H and inserts into Table C, which is as indicated prior a source for the first process. Essentially, this design maintains an inventory, matches it with traffic data, then provides the user with a list of available space and equipment usage. The user then picks a unit for making new assignments to and that is stored to be fed into the inventory to keep it up to date.


So, the project manager runs off and comes back with a document that states: Table A and Table B are used by Process 1 to Populate Table D; Table C, D, E and F are used by Process 2 to create Table G and Table H; G and H are used with user input to update Table C. The design team gets this document, disagrees, rewrites it to match the original discussion and submits it back to the manager. The manager runs off again and comes back with another document that matches neither the original discussion or the document he first did. This time the user interface is feeding Tables C, F and H, and Process 1 is using every table except G. Totally wrong. So we go around again. And again. And again.

We waste hours and hours, and the manager keeps saying, “Let me see if I understand…” and then always explains it wrong because, clearly, he does not understand.

Eventually we come to a point where someone on design gets mad and says, “Trust us, if it doesn’t work the way WE say it, we can redesign it later.” And of course, we aren’t wrong, it works and we don’t have to come back to it.

I’ve got no solution, nor really much else to say. This is just something that frustrates me as a worker that I’ve added to the list of things I will never do if I’m ever manager. That is all.

One comment

  1. I know what you mean. I get the same in my line of work too. Firms I work with try to rewrite my plans thinking it makes more sense–and it might if you read it out of order or upside-down, but not when the plan is a delicate balance.

    What about this: Have you ever put hard work into a design/plan with a “partner” who then removes your name and only puts theirs? It happens to me and my company more often than I care to remember. I thought that only happened in high school.

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