Analysis Paralysis

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At work, we implemented this application to help us track our project work, and upon seeing it and using it a bit, the entire development team adopted it – hook, line, and sinker.  They tossed out one of the tools they had been using without great success and started using this took for ALL of their work.

WOW! was my reaction.  Why?

Why?

The last time I implemented this tool, everyone loved it – but no one wanted to use it. It was sad how everyone wanted the benefits without the work.  Drove me nutty really because so very little is needed to make the application work well.  It’s just no one wants to change what they are doing to conform with the process.  (And honestly, the system is really fucking flexible – so not wanting to “conform” is really just a lazy way of saying “I don’t wanna”. Insert a childish pouty voice while you read that.)

And the challenges at my last place were not exclusive to that company.  The software company itself writes so many articles and cater all of their “customer care” towards helping managers get their people to adopt the software.  They are experienced in helping their customers figure out how to get people to use the system enough to get the benefit.  My customer care guy? He looks at our implementation and is shocked – in a good way.  I mean, WOW is his response too.

And when the team was like, “Hey, can we track our time in here?”

I almost feel out of my chair.

My boss and I were both wondering if we were in a Twilight Zone episode.  When were the guys going to expose themselves as aliens or something?

For the past, oh, I don’t know how many months now, we as a management team have tried to come up with a way to have them do timekeeping while getting us useful data for analysis.  We have spent HOURS.  I mean, probably easily 8-10 hours now on this issue.

A few weeks ago, we had a breakthrough.  Mainly because I got annoyed at the fact that the convoluted way we were defining would require me to become the Timekeeping Tzar for my development team mainly because they would probably stop using it.   I successfully got people to understand that we went from “yes, use the system” to “Yes, use the system but only in this one conscribed way that may or may not make sense in terms of how you are tracking your work today.”  I pointed out that what they find awesome about the tool is that we don’t have to tell them exactly how to use it to manage their work, thus the reason they embraced it.  “If we take away their flexibility, we will start losing the visibility and all we have by them using the system to manage all of their work.”  That statement was what got my boss to wrap his head around things and agree to a “keep it simple” strategy.

Finally! It was put to bed.

Or so I thought.

I was getting the final blessing for the document on the process that would be sent to the team when…..

“I really don’t agree with what we’re doing…”

Says the guy who has only to use the system – no people to manage – nothing.

Oh Fuck.

My boss chuckled then explained he wasn’t laughing at the guy but at the facial expression that I made upon hearing him say that.

So we started revising everything again.  My cohort who manages the other part of IT sat there saying nothing.  He and I are aligned – we agree – we think this is beyond stupid at this point.  Yet, he sat there…..for a fucking hour saying nothing.

“Ok, before I say this, you can’t get pissed at me and leave angry, ” my boss said to me.

“Oh the fact we’re talking about this again has made that too late,” I said in half-hearted jest.  Then I smiled at him as I rubbed my head because it was now aching.

We stopped the discussion finally because “we needed to think about things.”

What is frustrating how only me and my cohort see that we are all now trapped in ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.    I kept suggesting we just use things as they are – let’s see what we can do with it.  Course correct here and there as we go.  But no.  Unless it is perfect, we cannot start using it!!

At this point, I have decided to not do anything.  I can’t anymore.  The guy is an overthinker – and he triggers in our boss his overthinking.  And I’m more of a “think about it a bit – then do something already” kind of person.   I’m okay without perfection.  If you don’t start, you won’t accomplish anything.

So here we stay in analysis paralysis mode.  I really need to figure out how to get out of this….or get my boss to not take the analysis bait anymore.

What do you think?

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