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The Art of Letting Bad Things Happen January 10, 2008

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Business Processes, Coaching.
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Coders love to improve things and sometimes can’t understand why a company would want to enhance or replace a “bad” process. Here’s some advice on being impatient with lack of change: don’t be impatient with a lack of change. When you rail against process owners they’ll think you think their stupid; when you flail at convincing someone of their inept ways and how extensiblity will save them money, you’ll stutter, sound like a techie idiot, and will be ignored.

There are three levels to decision making that need to overcome. They are the intellectual level, the physical level, and the emotional level, and guess which one is the deciding factor? Emotional. And this level is the most difficult to overcome.

Programmers don’t understand this as their emotions play out in different ways where passion is derived from creating elegant code. But this prevents them from moving the decision makers appropiately. If you state your case and point to real samples of timing, defects, and impact to other dependencies you may have a chance of convincing someone to make the changes you want. Use English to explain yourself and your arguments, and forget all the buzzwords you read on the blogs. Nobody important who signs your check cares about that jargon.
They do care about money. If you lose the intellectual battle, submit you case, and be ready to step in when they’ve been hit with a huge bill. Nothing crystallizes thoughts more than “I just lost out on an opportunity and we could have saved money.” Be ready to move then. The situation is making the argument for you and you’ll have to do less work as your arguments, if expressed appropriately, be even clearer.

Add the Art of Letting Bad Things Happen to your ActiveEngine toolkit. This new found patience will win you more in the long run.

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