Responsibility, blame, managers, and getting the job done

Subject: Responsibility, blame, managers, and getting the job done
From: Amy Smith/Westford/IBM <amy_smith -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 09:13:25 -0400

Kat Nagel wrote:

> We all talk a good line about being 'professionals,' but most of what
> I've been seeing here lately are excuses for not producing perfect
> documents. Those conditions or situations may be contributing
> factors, but they do not excuse us from the responsibility to provide
> accurate information. Refusing to take responsibility for our work,
> and blaming others for deficiencies in the products we produce, are
> not tactics that belong in a professional's repertoire.

Kat, you hit the nail on the head. I am in violent agreement!

I hear what Bonnie is saying about management, but that situation only
exists on that planet where I am 5' 9" and a size 2. :-) ;-) I have a
great manager, but I can't expect him to run ahead of me (figuratively)
and sweep any and all potential obstacles from my way. That's ludicrous. I
know - I've been there (management, that is. But I'm much better now.) ;-)
I know that my manager has all he can do to do *his* job, which is to a)
handle grueling administrivia (that's 60% of a manager's job, esp. in a
large company), b) do the projects that *his* manager gives him, and c)
coordinate the delivery of documentation (three sets) for three code
streams, and oh yeah, coordinate internationalization. And then manage 10+
people. *And* put out fires. D.'s job is not to get me a perfect feature
spec. His job is to make sure I have a good test machine on which I can
run the daily builds to verify what's been spec'd.

I was hired for my ability to deliver sound, clear, accurate, *techical*
documentation. And yeah, that does include 'befriending' the developers.
It also includes showing up to development team meetings and volunteering
to help out with release-noting their SPRs. If that's 'befriending'
developers, fine. I prefer Bruce's view that it is more team-playing and
diplomacy. Whatever it is, it gets results. I'm proud to say that I am
considered part of the security development team here. :-) And the payoff
is work that I can be proud of (and, ideally, a low SPR count!).

Besides, being the absolute control freak that I am, I vastly prefer this
to relying on someone else to funnel/channel/provide me information. How
can I trust that?

Amy Smith | GPD User Assistance | IBM Software Group/Lotus Software
Phone 978.399.5009 | Tie line: 399.5009 | Email: amy_smith -at- us -dot- ibm -dot- com
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Re: About responsibility and fault: From: Kat Nagel, MasterWork Consulting

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