Dragging Ass

May 30, 2008

As of this writing, Walter has been dragging his ass for three weeks on a new information system that I’m trying to get implemented for Ideal. The system is fairly complex in that it must meet the requirements of several different departments with existing infrastructure, and be able to handle future needs as well.

Angelic Choir

This is not something I took lightly — almost as soon as I got here I identified the need for this system and began gathering requirements from all the departments. I researched vendors heavily, developed a short list of four vendors who could deliver, then asked for estimates. I targeted the most promising vendor, negotiated the final contract, and delivered it with a Hersey’s Kiss to Walter’s desk. I could here the faint melody of an angelic choir as everyone in the company rejoiced.

Then we waited as Walter fumbled from one excuse to the next. We watched as days turned to weeks. The departments are being crushed under the pressure of 20,000 Leagues of bullshit that they can’t keep organized, and my vendor is bucking at the starting gate.

I’ve talked to Ben, our CFO about this in the hope that I can uncover what must be the hidden obstacle. There is no obstacle — Ben says if I need an officer’s signature, to bring the contract to him, and he’ll cut the deposit check. I’m being encouraged by other players to just do it without Walter’s approval. People are in pain.

Over worked and Overwhelmed

Drowning

My suspicion has been confirmed. The unseen roadblock that is causing all this pain is psychological. Walter is not a technical guy — he excels at organizing systems, and creating paper trails. This responsibility has fallen to him by default: before I came, there was no one else to do it. Now Walter is drowning under his normal workload (ironically, because this system is not in place), and he is overwhelmed with technical information he simply doesn’t understand.

It’s not his fault. It’s a common psychological effect: too much information about an important decision will cause a person to freeze, unable to call the shot.

To overcome Walter’s brain freeze, I’ll go to David, and tell him what’s going on, tell him why I think it’s going on, then make the move to take the responsibility off Walter’s shoulders entirely.

If it works the way I hope it will, I will get the system up, and be one step closer to having the final authority over technology issues here at Ideal.

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2 Responses to “Dragging Ass”

  1. JJAstor Says:

    You know that I don’t put much faith in this academic stuff, but there is a damn good article that I think you would find useful that pertains to this:

    http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/hbr/articles/article.jsp?ml_action=get-article&articleID=R0806C&ml_issueid=BR0806&ml_subscriber=true&pageNumber=1&_requestid=283882


  2. […] turns out that many of the concerns that Walter had were echoes of David’s concerns. Also, as I thought, Walter had been under pressure to […]


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