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I work for a tech company that has major assets, A and B. My team develops and looks after A, my colleague Bob's team develops and looks after B. Both the teams work independent of each other.

My team plans for all contingencies, which ensures that we recover from any failures quickly with minimal disruption. Bob's team works hard too but from what I can see their contingency plans are not so good and failures are a bit more troublesome for them. They're very focused on the development end.

I have been noticing potential points of failure that would have B in some serious trouble. When I talk to Bob about contingencies for these, his response is "eh don't worry about it". Bob is also the super senior rockstar in the whole org. I am a level of hierarchy beneath him.

I believe it is only a matter of time until a catastrophic scenario occurs. When it happens, the company will logically pull my team to get B back up and running. We'll be stuck working nights and weekends. I believe this to be inevitable.

To prevent this, I have to get Bob to recognize what I see, and to take it seriously, and do the contingency planning and testing etc. We can't just hire more people.

So how do I communicate this to Bob?

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  • Sounds like there should be a manager or someone whose official role it is to oversee that all your contingency plans work together. Where is Bob in the corporate hierarchy compared to you? Is there a manager who can coordinate you both?
    – user34587
    Jul 12 '18 at 7:37
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    Why do you want to convince Bob instead of going over his head to your/his manager? You tried to raise it with Bob and he's not interested in your message so that sounds like a dead end. Also, are you in the actual management chain, i.e. are you leading your team? If not, your options (and responsibility) to raise this are limited.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 12 '18 at 9:20
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    Why would your team be dragged into the fray, if your team doesn't know about B?
    – Erik
    Jul 12 '18 at 11:19
  • I just figure that although we don't know the nitty-gritty details we'll still be able to be helpful doing whatever they tell us to do, to make things go faster. But I think Masked Man is right. Sigh I have to learn to chill! Thanks for all your advice folks much appreciated!!
    – Duke Leto
    Jul 12 '18 at 15:01
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You reported your concerns to Bob. Bob asked you not to worry about it, so stop worrying about it. Focus on your own work and let other people do their work. You (probably) do not see everything that B's project management sees.You don't know their actual contingency plan. It is their responsibility to manage project B. If a "catastrophe" occurs in that project as you predict, they would be responsible to deal with it.

Do not worry about future problems. If the company asks you to support project B in future, then you do so. You don't own either project A or project B, the company does, so you don't get to refuse to work on either project. If you cannot support both projects at the same time, let management decide the priority. If you cannot work overtime, raise that as a concern with the management when it happens, and let them resolve it.

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Email your manager and let them know the situation. They can then decide whether to take it further. If you have some way to get it on the written record that you have raised this issue with Bob, or any other member of his team, do that also.

This may not get the problem fixed, but at least when things blow up you will have written evidence that you reported this issue.

Beyond that, probably not much you can do.

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