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Get Your Tank Off My Flower Beds!

July 26, 2016

Rodney, the Solutions Team is kind of upset at what you did.

What did I do?

Well, when you pushed through the network changes for the launch, it really should have come through the solutions team. They’d appreciate it if you didn’t do it that way again.

You realize that if I hadn’t pushed the changes that we wouldn’t have launched right?

That’s speculation. You don’t know that for sure. 

There’s a scene in the Pixar movie “The Incredibles” where the hero, Mr Incredible, is confronted by a person in a neck brace. The person in the neck brace was earlier saved by Mr. Incredible as he attempted to commit suicide by jumping off a roof. He’s now suing Mr. Incredible. 

Hey, I saved your life!

You didn’t save my life, you ruined my death.

It’s said that “No good deed goes unpunished.” I’m not sure I’m that cynical yet, but it is frustrating when you do something that helps a situation and rather than get praised, or even ignored, you instead get criticized. 

One of my greatest strengths in business, is the ability to get stuff done. I think it’s the hyper-focus tendency that ADHD suffers have. If you give me an objective and a deadline, I will move heaven and earth to meet the objective. I call it tank driving. If you think about it, the guy in the tank doesn’t much care what is happening around him. Your tank can make a bee-line for your objective and roll over just about anything that gets in your way; obstacles, houses, horses, flower beds. And that’s the downside of being a tank driver. You tend to roll right over those obstacles, but leave a trail of destruction in your wake. 

I did a little tank driving last week. We were supposed to launch on Thursday. Wednesday morning, many of our agents had the wrong network permissions. In this case it typically takes about 2 weeks to get the permissions changed. We had turned in the request to change permissions about a week earlier. Without those permissions, we couldn’t launch. What would you do? Delay the launch, but follow process? Or ignore process, climb in your tank and roll over the neighbor’s flowers? 

I drove the tank. The Solutions Team is the group that normally grants network permissions. They had our request and I’m sure they were planning to get it done within the two week Service Level Agreement. However, I’d flown in for the launch and we had 50 agents ready to take calls. Waiting a week would have cost us tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. I forced the issue and got them to grant the permissions right away.

My role is normally not to grant or even facilitate network permissions. There are whole teams that do that. But, my role is to look for anything that might prevent us from launching on time and deal with it. I was appropriately contrite and agreed that it would be much better if the Solutions Team were allowed to process these requests without IT getting involved. 

I apologized for the tank treads through the flower garden. I promised not to do it again. . .until next time. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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