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Most of us have encountered some kind of obstacle in our life and we had to deal with it in different ways. As individuals, we can decide our actions instantaneously without having to sit down and think of another individuals ideas. We are in a world of our own since our own perception is our reality. But what about other peoples reality? How do we mesh our world with others to create harmony? The answer is critical thinking and learning how to apply it to our daily interactions.
The case that we are presenting is entwined with different types of perceptions and assumptions against an individual. The goal of this team is to develop a ColdFusion application wherein doctors and researchers upload case studies, pictures and statistics for the number of suicide rates between males and females. ColdFusion is a complete Web application server for developing and delivering scaleable e-business applications. Whether you’re revolutionizing your company’s Human Resources operations, building a new generation of your firm’s global Intranet, or launching the next killer.
com. ColdFusion can accomplish this and more.
Eight team members are involved in this Web based project. The group consists of one system administrator, one database administrator, one graphics designer, one web designer, three ColdFusion programmers (one of them is a contractor) and one web engineer. All of them come from different departments and were put together to build the application within a six-month time frame.
Each individual within the group have their own specialties and have different ideas in how to start, plan and implement the project.
For the most part, everyone is open-minded and in good spirits until one individual undermined each ones creativity but his own. We will call this individual Vince. Vince is the web engineer in his early 30s. He is competent, logical and organized individual who has a set routine way of thinking. He has very good focus and envisions how he would like to accomplish the project in a timely manner. He is known for his candor with the different directors and his work ethics are never questioned, except for now.
Despite these positive attributes, some of the members of the team cannot justify the forceful and obnoxious nature that the web engineer manages to show during group meetings and individual conversations. The system administrator is agitated with his know it all attitude. As a female, she perceives that his attitude towards her is prejudiced. Whenever a suggestion of how the systems and file structures are setup, it needed to be Vinces way. The syndrome of I know more, so do not question it is not a sufficient answer. Accepting criticism is not one of his stronger points. The web designer is quite agitated with the constant changes in the format of the site and feels like he is singled out as an incompetent worker. Vinces visions are starting to morph into another of his later visions. The database administrator thinks that Vince is a pain since his morphing visions is disrupting the original structure of the database and any relationships established among other databases. He is just glad that he does not have to deal with him on a daily basis. The graphics designer is passive about the whole situation. All he needs is his pixels. Two of the ColdFusion programmers are passive since they are on their computers all day creating code. As long as they have their headphones on, they dont have to listen to Vince and his visions. The third ColdFusion programmer is very close to Vince and takes the position of second in command when it came to final decisions.
Considering that this is a combined effort from three different IT departments, all department directors are stakeholders in this project. This accomplishment is way of stating, We are IT and are a team that can make things happen. The client is the major stakeholder since they are the primary customers for this project. They are also paying for the ColdFusion contractor at $250.00/hour. As mentioned, a fully developed website with the described application is expected to be available at the end of six months. Any changes in the code or any drastic architectural changes can push the deadline back three to four months.
This is a temporary situation, which puts all the members of the team in a stressful and vulnerable situation. The goal is straightforward and simple enough to understand. With the first milestone already accomplished after the first month of working with each other. The problem is that team
members are showing signs of disgruntlement, anger, hurt and confused with the direction of the whole project. The departmental managers who allocated their people to this team are vaguely aware of this situation. An additional problem is trying to figure out, what course of action should the group members take in order to alleviate the immediate morale problem and project management direction. The vote of confidence in Vinces capabilities and visions are not only questioned but also ridiculed. Where do they go from here before the whole project turns out to be a failure?
The team has met on several occasions discussing alternatives and how to implement them. However, since one (the third cold fusion programmer) is very close to Vince and the graphics designer is passive, decisions are hard to agree on by a majority vote. Democracy doesnt reign supreme here. The meeting ends in disappointment and chaos. The obvious solution is to get the Human Resources Department involved. Though this company has a track record of not firing people even with the most egregious behaviors, it prefers to consult, mediate and transfer problem employees as explained by Human Resources Representative, Ms. Moss. Ms. Moss said there are three basic steps to dealing with employees in this organization.
Step #1- Reason, consult and then create different solutions. Not to place blame is key here. Understanding and an open ear can sometimes be the trick she proclaimed. If that doesnt work, they will go to step two she said.
Step #2 More consultation and redefining job expectations and functions. H.R will not leave without Vince being aware of what is expected of him and that there is a deadline to meet. Perhaps even tell him to keep this a strictly professional environment where small talk or unnecessary comments are discouraged. If this doesnt work, they will go on to step three.
Step #3- Demotion or move him out of the group until this project is completed. After the project completion have the department decide what to do with him. This is how Human Resources would handle it, and it could continue for months before real action would take place. Complaints have been brought to upper management before with to no avail. Nothing positive has resulted from these actions and has only caused more friction among the team members. It has begun to destroy the cohesiveness of the group as well. Action must be taken, if no one else will step up to the plate, its time the remaining group members did.
Its time to bend him! Make him see the error of his ways by forcing him to see our side of the issue by means of unconventional motivation. Knowing that it takes an act of Congress to fire someone in this organization, we began to develop a Bending plan. First steps were to ignore his injections and comments. If the project completed is less than desirable, hes the one to blame more or less being the engineer. Little stuff was planned to irritate and frustrate Vince such as parking in his assigned parking stop.
We decided to rotate this privilege among office staff to give the illusion that its accidental or randomly done. Adding irritation to the situation by putting burnt out light bulbs with his good ones and stealing his paper and pens constantly during the day. Making sure the coffee pot remained empty is torturous to the coffee junkie and unplugging his monitor and mouse were sure things to set him off.
While throwing one of his temper tantrums, call in his boss at the exact time to get his take on a project matter or some mundane detail. If this doesnt work, well take it to step two. Downloading gay, child porn or a virus onto his computer while at lunch or at a meeting will certainly raise eyebrows and havoc. Waiting for a bathroom break to e-mail upper management from his computer soliciting gay sexual advances or describing how good their wives were the previous weekend will certainly get him noticed. How about e-mailing one of his bosses telling him how inept the other is. Calling 1-900 numbers from his office or Dionne Warwick’s Psychic connection. Pulling out his desk drawers and
turning them up side down and filling them up again so when he pulls them out all his stuff ends up on the floor or in his lap. This should frustrate him to quit or just get him flat out fired. This is war, survival of the fittest. Its either him or us. Its best to sacrifice one for the betterment and preservation of the group.
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