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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

How to Change Things Successfully

It’s a rare situation when we doesn’t want anything to be changed in our workplace. Usually the list of thing we’d like to see different is quite long. How to change them, when we’re only pawns on organizational chessboard? There are three methods to use respectively.

1. How those things are supposed to be done

Telling a superior what is wrong. Mentioning a problem during a performance evaluation meeting. Chatting directly with the CEO. Submitting an issue to The Great Quality Committee (if exists). Whatever is the official way of doing such thing in your company. It should always be used at first. It’s the easiest thing just to report the problem and wait for proper persons to manage it. Maybe you can come with some ideas how to fix it, why not? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work too often. Then it’s time for another method.

2. Take the bit in your hands

OK, you told them once. You told them twice. Nothing happened. What a surprise. Let’s go to the plan B. Try to change the thing by yourself. Talk directly with people who are the source of the issue. Try to invite a habit, which will at least track down errors, when you can’t prevent them to appear. Skip the official hierarchy and go talk with people you think can help. Pray for the UFO which will come and annihilate the source of the problem. But be warned, you won’t be praised for those actions. No one likes to be forced to change her behavior. No one likes to be pointed as a source of bad thing. On the other hand people can be too lazy to change things, even when they believe it would be the change for the better. The chances are good there will be a resistance. It’s not impossible that you’ll fail here. But you can always try the third method.

3. The ultimate way of changing things in the workplace

You’ve tried everything but you still can’t change the way things are done in your job, eh? You can always change your job. When you can’t change them, leave them. You’ll be healthier after all. And with all the mess you’ve already invited with your efforts no one will miss you anyway. Oh nevermind, you can still look at the mirror and believe you’ve tried, but unfortunately you’ve failed. Shit happens.

And remember, agreeing for mediocrity around you is a straight way to become mediocre.

in: personal development

2 comments… add one

  • Anonymous July 30, 2007, 11:43 pm

    Do you mean, there is very little space to change something outside us?

  • Pawel Brodzinski July 31, 2007, 12:30 am

    Quite the opposite. There’s a lot of chances to change things outside. I’ve seen great changes initiated by “average” employees. Unfortunately that’s not always possible – sometimes you meet the wall you can’t crush or go round. Then you have to turn around and go look for another way leaving things unchanged.

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