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Duplicate:

That Q is closed as "not constructive"

Background:

I did work/research to implement a tool among my team. Team and management liked the results, tool was implemented successfully and we are currently in a "beta" stage. But all looks perfect and seems there is no "going back".

Further research was done to find the best-fit process and the how-to docs. I came up with a set of instructions and diagrams, which again lead and management liked it and we are about to apply it as-is in our team.

Problem:

Recently, a management/seniors (~5 members) meeting was organized by a lead (not mine) senior coworker regarding finding a process, the meeting had my lead in it, who suggested they look at my docs, then the meeting came up that my docs would be the way to go for all teams and not just mine. And they are about to apply it in all teams.

Later that day, I was called by the organizer, consulting me regarding couple teams who need some special case scenarios and instructions/diagrams. Trying to understand the problem (to provide a tune), the organizer started showing me letters from the team leaders of those teams. Those leaders/teams are not aware of my work, and they were not in that decision meeting, and their letters start with:

  • "Coworker, the problem with your approach ... "
  • "Coworker, I like your proposal, but ... "

So, after providing all the help I can, the conversation ended and I went back to my work/desk.

It seems that the organizer, after that management meeting, sent out my docs as "their process proposal". The organizer is not my lead, but we work relatively close. My lead is aware of everything but did not bring up any thing (My lead usually shields me).

If this did not go how I would want it to go. Can I do anything to not lose credits?

  • 3
    How do these "credits" affect your own work? Are they added to your record somehow? How does your team lead presenting your work affect your own work? – Snow Aug 7 '18 at 16:25
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    @Snow It is not affecting my day-to-day work, it is just that I did the work and I really really liked it, and I am interested to stay on top of it and not lose it. – Sandra K Aug 7 '18 at 16:42
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    @Snow it is not his team leader - it is another team => senior management could give bonuses/promotion to the wrong team – Mark Aug 7 '18 at 16:46
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    I don't think this question is a duplicate. While both questions address the same subject matter, the question you linked was poorly worded, and closed as "not constructive". In said question, the top comment has more votes than the question itself and reads, "This question needs to be either closed or revised to address a specific situation you are facing." Here we have such a situation. – Lumberjack Aug 7 '18 at 17:53
  • How do you know that "their process proposal" wasn't sent out referencing "the docs produced by Sandra"? The organizer is using your material and including you in the followup. That sounds like "credit" to me, as long as your management is aware of the work you are doing. – Peter Aug 7 '18 at 18:27
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Can I do anything to not lose credits?

If you pursue this further, the only way to do it is to sit down with your manager, and the accused and their manager, and present what happened. The first thing to consider is do you have definitive proof? If so, consider going forward with the meeting and see what comes of it.

I would also urge you on the other side of the coin to consider if the juice is worth the squeeze. No one here can tell you, only you know your colleagues and work environment well enough to answer this. Accusing people of such actions usually leads to you making an enemy or two, and potentially being labeled as a nark.

Unless you have smoking gun level proof of "theft" I would probably just let it slide. Going forward though, use this as a learning lesson and protect your work from being presented as others.

  • I would appreciate it if you include some how-to regarding "protect my work from being presented as others" – Sandra K Aug 8 '18 at 13:57
  • @SandraK there are lots of articles and books out there Internet on this topic. The biggest thing you can do is to not deliver you content in a way that can be easily copy and pasted. When I am concerned with this from a documentation perspective I try to PDF it. From a code perspective I point them to the repository (Git or TFS) where the history of who did what is kept. In short it can be difficult to do. – Mister Positive Aug 8 '18 at 13:59
1

I'm sorry that you're in this position. In an ideal world, everyone would give credit where credit is due.

I would make sure that your name, contact information and team name is on every thing you produce. Talk to your manager about how other teams are interested in adopting your research. Part of your manager's job is raising the visibility of the work of their direct reports (it make them look good too) so making them aware of the impact of your work is very important.

Since you enjoyed the work that you did, I would go as far as proposing to your manager that you directly (instead of indirectly) consult with these teams as to how they could adopt your process. It's hard not to associate you with the new process if you are the one coaching the other teams through it.

1

If I were in your position, I'd just enjoy the fact that I helped the company or the larger team to move forward. You solved a problem. It'll benefit all of you.

During your career there'll be plenty of opportunities to solve problems, maybe again by and implementation of a new tool.

Sometimes you get the credit, sometimes someone else gets it. Sometimes no one gets any credit at all. Sometimes others, in particular your superiors, will know who solved the problem, even if it seems someone else is getting the credit. Maybe someday you'll even willingly give your credits to someone else. And of course, sometimes a project may fail and you take the blame.

Forget credits, focus on solving problems. People will know.

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Personal? Escalate it high up. Indicate that this is actually an ethical and possibly legal issue - depending on jurisdiction claiming authorshit can actually result in termination for cause. One CAN argue that this consitutes completed Fraud (look how good work I do, though I actually do not).

Note: I am disagreeable personality. I never work for anyone in employment excpt me, so in my case I would be a consultant and would actually threaten said coworker with legal action for that. I also care more about ethics than money, and I can affort it. And yes, this is problematic - but then my biggest customer just told me to more than double team size, so it is not necessarily wrong.

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