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  • Writer's pictureAstutely Obtuse Readers

Letters From the Readers | Hostile Take Overs, and Passion Plays

Updated: May 25

Hey Muh-Dudes,


Here’s a story for you guys.


I recently (within the past year) took a senior PM position {at a consumer POS company}.

The previous senior PM took an open IT manager position. While the PM she oversaw all of our current SaaS integration implementations. While these all work perfectly, the projects implementation is the shit of legend.


Disasters as far as the eye can see.gif


Well, firth thing she does is kick off projects to replace every SaaS integration we have so that she could “do it right this time.”

Because it’s a “passion project” (her words, not mine) she ahs insisted that she micro-manage every aspect of the project. So much so, that all I do is run stand-ups. It’s fucking infuriating.


Anyway, keep up the good work. You are doing God’s work.

-Pushed out PM


***


Hola you limey fucks,


I’m a PM that works for (an insurance brokerage firm}. I really appreciate you calling out the shitty people in projects.


Speaking of shitty POs, I had a PO who didn’t want to follow our process because “it slowed him down too much.” Like the asshole manager you mention, this guy also believed that projects should move at the speed of business, even though our leadership was always dealing with decision paralysis over the stupidest shit (speed of business my ass).


This guy was a total pain in my fucking ass. The worst part of it all, he would find ways to pit the entire project team against me. His failure to figure shit out on his side, was somehow my fault, which is why the project team was struggling.


Well, one day, this jagoff starts treating me better. All the work goes through our process with no complaints. The work slows down a bit, but we are putting out quality work without any rework.


Over the next four to six months, I noticed a couple of my developers weren’t giving detailed work reports during stand-up. In fact, their input was pretty fucking cryptic.


I started to look into it and noticed they had no assigned tickets, but the PMIS showed that they were working within the software for 10 hours a day. I couldn’t figure it out, and no one would tell me what the fuck was going on. They were clearly working, but it appeared that they weren’t working, and no one would tell me what was going on. Fucking wild.


Then one day, our QA lead chews my ass because we pushed out a ton of changes without telling anyone, and there was zero documentation of these changes occurring, and it turns out that an update we pushed the night before took down vital down-stream systems.

Turns out, the PO was golfing buddies with members of senior management, and they let him set up a skunkworks team, so that he could have free reign to do whatever the fuck he wanted.


His defense… he had “all these great ideas, but the process was stifling his creativity.”

Of course I, and the non-skunkworks developers took 100% of the blame for taking the system down, since the devs should have looked at “all of the code, not just the code they were working on,” which means they should have caught it during the development process, complete bullshit, I know.


Needless to say, we are all looking for work elsewhere, so if any of your readers are recruiting an IT project manager, and eight JS/node.js developers, let me know.

-PO’d PM


This is something that seems to be more common than I would have imagined. It is something that should be addressed, however, where the hell do you start?

Issues like this seemed to be closely related to organizational culture. The thing to realize is that organizational culture always, always, comes from the top. If the company you work for prizes underhanded dealings, engaging in potentially illegal or unethical behavior, or undermining fellow co-workers to the benefit of yourself, the problem lies at the top of the org chart.


A healthy workplace wouldn’t encourage that or allow it to happen, regardless of how cunning these people who engage in takeovers of your PMO are.


One of the things that I gather from both of these messages is the effects of this type of behavior have a detrimental effect on those most affected by it. The PMs are put in a really shitty situation, where they are not being utilized to the fullness of their potential and can feel like they are being punished for trying to be the best they can be.

It’s pretty damn fucked up.


While I don’t have any really helpful feedback, my opinion is that your work shouldn’t make you feel depressed. Further, you shouldn’t feel bound to a company that would push you out. Find a job that appreciates you for your contribution.


The reason I have no helpful feedback (I’m not being dodgy here) is that this problem is part of a much larger fucked up situation. It’s a systemic belief that is rooted in worker exploitation, and the desire to fuck over anyone and everyone, as long as it’s good for the stockholders. It doesn’t occur everywhere, but in situations where it does, the leadership sucks the cock of Gordon Gekko. This is why my opinion is to not fight it, just remove yourself from the situation.

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