The most painful problems happen if you cannot proceed due to some facts and rules which exist, but not officially confessed.
It’s like hidden stones in the muddy water.
- An informal leader who works in parallel with an official leader. Results: a dangerous confrontation between team members, team velocity reduce, inconsistent work, demotivation of the whole team
- Informal delegating of management power without official acknowledgment. Results: delegation is not working, conflicts, demotivation, blocks during work performing
- Undocumented agreements. Results: unexpected results of work, agreements are not working for some parties.
- Undocumented rules in the code. Results: Unexpected work of application.
- Problems ignored by management. Problem is unofficial. Results: problems are not solved, employees demotivation.
Let’s be frank:
Unofficial things makes the situation unclear and not manageable. It breaks the work process.
Why it’s happened?
I’m 100% sure that exists some responsible person with enough power, but not brave enough or just lazy to take responsibility and solve the problem.
Such kind of employee is responsible to make water clear to avoid the stones, but he didn’t. It exists even a chance that he does it for some reason.
Maybe it exists some hidden reason. Let me remind you the old proverb:
Fish is easier to catch in muddy water
from latin: Turbato melius capiuntur flumine pisces
What I can recommend,
If you want to make your agreements and rules work and you’ve enough rights to impact on the situation –
Be brave and clear the water – formalize informal things.
If we’re taking a look at the cases from above:
- An informal leader who works in parallel with an official leader. What to do: work to make informal leader lead the team or remove him at all.
- Informal delegating of management power without official acknowledgment. What to do: discuss with the team possible changes in responsibilities.
- Undocumented agreements. What to do: sit down with all parties and document informal agreements.
- Undocumented rules in the code. What to do: document them in requirements or just fix them.
- Problems ignored by management. Problem is unofficial. What to do: take responsibility for the problem and inform how it will be handled.
If you’re not enough rights, but in the situation as defined above: don’t hesitate to inform a responsible person about the problems and needs to resolve it.
You’ve all rights to push your manager to resolve such painful and blocking situation.
Anyway, you need to be brave. Don’t be afraid to create the conflict. Otherwise, you’ll break your legs in the muddy water.