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tl;dr New boss is slow in keeping up in his duties making me look bad and jeopardizing my position

Where I work any changes made to the codebase undergo multiple checks. The first check is a peer review followed by approval for integration by a manager. The ones after that are usually out of my hands as they are done by other QA teams.

Once a code review is done it is imperative it is integrated quickly before new code releases come out otherwise they get rejected. When this happens best case scenario is you have to wait it out. There is a worse case scenario which happened to me where a rejected code change (somehow) partially gets integrated for some unknown reason which makes it look like I did a massively idiotic mistake and costs the company and clients thousands of dollars in wasted time fixing it. It could all be avoided if the manager approves the request in a timely manner.

The previous manager was very quick to approve the integrations but now we have a new manager who I have to constantly ask to approve things. When I get sick of asking and leav it to him then things like what happened above happen. I covered for him (as he was new) that time but it seems he still doesn't take it seriously or he is falling behind on his duties and not keeping up.

I'm currently waiting again for another one and have sent 2 reminders so far with no response.

I'm a contractor in this company so if he perceives me as a threat he could very easily get rid of me so going to upper management is not an option.

I also like the guy as a person so I don't want to confront him and lose my rapport I've been working on building up.

If the above scenario happens again it is going to look really bad on my behalf and I fear I'll lose my job over it.

What would be a good solution, how can I approach this with him?

  • This is another one of those times that "document, document, document" is important. And I would hope that you should be able to extract from your repository the timestamps fo when you submitted code for approval and when it gets approved. This will at least give you hard numbers to talk about rather than a vague "the new manager is slow at his job" – Peter M Aug 24 '18 at 11:10
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What would be a good solution, how can I approach this with him?

Obviously there is some imbalance that is causing him to be behind consistently. This imbalance needs to be discovered and corrected. A good way to approach this is be upfront and honest about the reality of the situation, then promptly ask how you can help. Give him options and come to a resolution together. The thing to keep in mind is that you two (and probably more people) are a team. Any failures are failures of the team, even if individuals could be blamed.

A good solution is where you make it insanely hard for him to fail, even if he is to blame. Communicate often, be honest about the situation, set up effective policies, or more specifically set time aside each day for the both of you to review the PR together etc.. While the perceived upfront cost is large, the longterm gains are massive. This is an example of "leading up the chain" from the book Extreme Ownership.

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I would discuss if it should be the managers job at all to give approval. Seems to be a very unusual practice to me, and your previous manager handling it so quickly may mean it wa just rubber stamped.

You shouldn’t have started any work that wasn’t actually wanted. And it’s your peers who review the quality, your manager can’t do that. So what is his involvement actually good for? He clearly thinks it’s not important which is probably correct. So maybev this can just be dropped.

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