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Office politics RRS feed

  • Question

  • How do you deal with a Architect who is very stubborn, arrogant and takes no input, doesn't want to discuss anything reasonably and just expects the developers to work within a design that doesn't always work.  Also this person gets very annoyed and difficult when you simple want to speak to them.
    Friday, July 17, 2009 8:12 AM

Answers

  • I guess it depends on a number of things, you might never win with this person? Here are a few ideas... Never go to him with problems with HIS design, at least without coming up with solutions first. For example, if you approach him, make sure that instead of saying 'Your design doesn't work, but mine does', instead offer up a no strings attached solution to whatever the problem is one on one. In this way he doesn't feel he needs to perform for anyone else, and you're most likely to get a better response. I have no idea where you skill level is here, not that it should matter, well it doesn't to me anyway; you perhaps need to implement the solution loosely based around his design, with your own backup design to 'save him', notice this is all about making him look good. I feel that it is an ego thing that is causing the problem, so feed his ego a little, then you may gain leverage with him. On the other hand, you may not get approval from him, but even if that happens, you know that you're doing an architects' job, and that at least has to count for something in your mind. On the flip-side, as architect, you're in a position where you're not anyone's boss, and have to otherwise convince or impress on a development team what you want to have implemented. I'm a pretty patience guy, I like to hear other people's opinions and views, it's healthy to know what people are thinking. If on the other hand I was being put under pressure to deliver something, and I thought that was at risk, I'd quite possibly be stressed and a little short with you. And probably not listen. The point here is understanding what is happening, and trying to help rather than cause more stress. So if you can take on some workload in one area, that might be helpful, especially if you just do it, then say it's there, I thought you might appreciate the help. You might not get recognition, and don't do this for that reason, do it to get experience in negotiating, and if you get your ideas across, do it for architecture experience. As mentioned at the beginning, this person may feel that they are way above you in skill level, and might be completely unreasonable, in which case there's nothing you're going to be able to sy or do to change things. That's when you have to make a decision what to do for you best path for your career to take. On the other hand, most people are reasonable, and also have reasons for acting the way that they do, understand alone can go a long way to diffusing the situation, but you need to do it in a way that is non-confrontational, and also does not is any way cast aspersions on this person's skills or ability to deal with workload. I hope that helps, Martin.
    MCSD, MCTS, MCPD. Please mark my post as helpful if you find the information good!
    • Marked as answer by TheLearner Friday, July 17, 2009 1:43 PM
    Friday, July 17, 2009 8:43 AM

All replies

  • I guess it depends on a number of things, you might never win with this person? Here are a few ideas... Never go to him with problems with HIS design, at least without coming up with solutions first. For example, if you approach him, make sure that instead of saying 'Your design doesn't work, but mine does', instead offer up a no strings attached solution to whatever the problem is one on one. In this way he doesn't feel he needs to perform for anyone else, and you're most likely to get a better response. I have no idea where you skill level is here, not that it should matter, well it doesn't to me anyway; you perhaps need to implement the solution loosely based around his design, with your own backup design to 'save him', notice this is all about making him look good. I feel that it is an ego thing that is causing the problem, so feed his ego a little, then you may gain leverage with him. On the other hand, you may not get approval from him, but even if that happens, you know that you're doing an architects' job, and that at least has to count for something in your mind. On the flip-side, as architect, you're in a position where you're not anyone's boss, and have to otherwise convince or impress on a development team what you want to have implemented. I'm a pretty patience guy, I like to hear other people's opinions and views, it's healthy to know what people are thinking. If on the other hand I was being put under pressure to deliver something, and I thought that was at risk, I'd quite possibly be stressed and a little short with you. And probably not listen. The point here is understanding what is happening, and trying to help rather than cause more stress. So if you can take on some workload in one area, that might be helpful, especially if you just do it, then say it's there, I thought you might appreciate the help. You might not get recognition, and don't do this for that reason, do it to get experience in negotiating, and if you get your ideas across, do it for architecture experience. As mentioned at the beginning, this person may feel that they are way above you in skill level, and might be completely unreasonable, in which case there's nothing you're going to be able to sy or do to change things. That's when you have to make a decision what to do for you best path for your career to take. On the other hand, most people are reasonable, and also have reasons for acting the way that they do, understand alone can go a long way to diffusing the situation, but you need to do it in a way that is non-confrontational, and also does not is any way cast aspersions on this person's skills or ability to deal with workload. I hope that helps, Martin.
    MCSD, MCTS, MCPD. Please mark my post as helpful if you find the information good!
    • Marked as answer by TheLearner Friday, July 17, 2009 1:43 PM
    Friday, July 17, 2009 8:43 AM
  • Thanks for your advice - I think that you absolutely right about feeding his ego as I think that will be the easier way to get the point through.  In terms of skill level - he has much more experience than me so basically he considers every opinion that I may have as irrelevant, even when I am just trying to discuss different options.  Granted he has more experience than me, but that doesn't mean everything I say is irrelevant.

    I am going approach the issue with caution.  Keep your enemies close as they.  I am going to be less interactive with him and only go to him when absolutely necessary.


    Friday, July 17, 2009 10:47 AM
  • I think this is about trust and communication style.

    As Martin suggests, it is possible the architect is under pressure to deliver and isn't too good at managing stress.

    Another strategy would be to examine his solution, come up with improvements to what you see as flaws and then approach the architect asking him to explain the area of his solution you are most concerned with because you are having difficulty understanding it

    After all, he can hardly expect you to implement something you don't understand.

    While they are explaining you could say things like 'I felt this would be better modelled/implemented like this...'.  You may even learn that there was a good reason for it being designed as it was and you were simply unaware of the wider environment.  This would be a much better forum for persuading them to your improvements.

    Being less interactive will probably not help as this is all about trust - and you can't build trust without interacting!  On the other hand I would ensure I don't try to take up too much of thier time with what may be seen as unnecessary/irrelevant critiscism.

    One thing that has been a great help in my career is principled negotiation;

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Getting-Yes-Negotiating-Agreement-Without/dp/1844131467/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247841268&sr=8-1

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negotiation

    Hope this helps


    Pl mark as answer or helpful if you found this useful
    Friday, July 17, 2009 3:07 PM
  • Guys I have tried all your advice.  Just does not seem to be working.  He just isn't a team player at all.  What he does now is he just overwrites the code in TFS.  So every time I have checked out lines and lines of my code is just gone. 

    Any further tips...I'm dying here :)

    The only thing that I going to do is just take the high road - so not gonna get p*ssed of or anything just remain calm.  But a project can never work like this...
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 8:40 AM
  • Do what he says or look for better job:)

    Regards,
    Jai
    Friday, October 2, 2009 12:17 PM
  • Thanks not good advice mate!!!  ;-)
    Monday, October 5, 2009 8:51 AM