-1

Some background info:

I'm a developer at a rather large company with a small-ish IT team. We have our own scrum team and projects.

Our product owner and team manager, let's call him "John", went on vacation for a total of 4 weeks and has put me in charge. The IT department (and company) is really "informal" and could be considered a 'family'. The bond I have with my manager is very good and strong.

I noticed that, in Task A, John wrote that he'd like to have it in X. However, I think that doing it in Y would be looking nicer, more efficient etc..

I do not want to call John while he's on his well deserved vacation, but also don't want it to be done in X.

Now there are a few scenario's in my mind:

Doing X, Pros:

  • I stick to whatever is written down, which can be seen as a positive and negative

  • John gets to come back to something he wanted

Doing X, Cons:

  • Not as efficient, good looking and user friendly (which we really do aim for)

Doing Y, Pros:

  • More efficient, sleeker design and a bit more user friendly

  • Shows I think outside of the box and not just to what I'm told which also could be positive and negative, I think..

Doing Y, Cons:

  • If John still thinks X is better, a developer's time would've been wasted and he'd have to re-do task A.

  • Could 'show' that I'm unable to do the simplest tasks that are written down.

I haven't chosen anything yet as I still have some time. The difficulty I'm having is, because, the second John comes back, he'll be calling the shots and mine could be 'reverted' and wasted a developers' time.

This question isn't about which one I should choose, but how I should handle such decisions that could be reverted as they're not really 'my' decisions to make.

  • 2
    Could doing Y be scratched? Maybe do X and scratch Y on its own branch just to show the concept. And be like "I did it the task, but I found a better solution, something like this". And let him decide – Sandra K Aug 27 '18 at 6:02
  • @SandraK - I am really leaning towards your solution. The problem is that, it should technically be done before he's back. If, for example, I did this and he'd strongly agree, we'd still have to revert X and do the same thing, but then in Y. I'm still thinking about doing it your way, however, as it does show I think outside of the box, but also not 'disobeying orders'. – Paramone Aug 27 '18 at 6:07
  • sorry, what is X and Y that you refer to? is it some tech language, or something that doesn't change the end outcome, or some other thing? – bharal Aug 27 '18 at 9:27
  • @Paramone What you think is a problem could be a solution from your manager perspective. Inform him about reverting X if he does not realize that already, let him decide and if he says it is ok to revert then it means it is worth it so no not a problem, reverting would part of a solution. – Sandra K Oct 2 '18 at 3:02
3

If you choose to do X, you have nothing to do. However, if you want to do Y, here is what I suggest:

Don't take that decision on your own, find other people (I would suggest the team) and ask them which solution they find better from a client perspective.

If the team think that X is better, then do X. You can still mention Y when John return but, since the team decided against it, it was probably not that good of a solution.

If the team choose Y, then you can more "safely" do Y. Doing Y was not something you choose on your own, it was approved by the team. You have backup now and I don't thing John will really blame you for doing something that everyone approved (could be culturally dependent though. So, for the record, I'm French).

Worst case scenario: you do Y, John blame you but you still have your team support.

1

John wrote that he'd like to have it in X. However, I think that doing it in Y would be looking nicer, more efficient etc..

how I should handle such decisions that could be reverted as they're not really 'my' decisions to make.

In Scrum teams that I've worked with the Product Owner gets to make those decisions, not the developers.

Unless it's different in your team, just create X. Once John returns you can lobby for doing Y at a later date.

In general - do your job. Let others do their jobs.

Either way once John returns, discuss with John and the team how such decisions should be handled in his absence going forward. That fact that you don't know tells us that you haven't talked enough.

Perhaps putting you in charge means you can do whatever you like in spite of what John specified. Perhaps not.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.