I need to get an update for some high priority items, which have been pending for months now and starting to get absolutley critical. The technical team of 2 are the only colleagues who can help me. The problem is they are clearly overstretched and focusing on other work with more revenue. Whilst I have escalated the issue to my boss at least once, they still completely ignore me.

I have had a face to face chat, picked the most important items, emailed and offered to talk over a call. My boss thinks the problem is I don't talk to them as often face to face. In my opinion, they can be quite rude and if they are already busy, then I don't want to disrupt their productivity by intruding at their desk. They are well aware of the risks with not sorting these items.

My question is what other approach could I try to get a response. Is it too unprofessional of me to refuse to own these actions after some point?

  • Why don't you learn and do it yourself? Nov 27 '18 at 2:38
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    Possibly because he doesn't have a few years spare time to learn to do so? Or do you think the company will send him to university for three years, if required, plus a few years in industry to get up to speed. There is, no doubt, a reason why the work split is as it is, and the company has chosen that reason. Or, so I would guess :-) Nov 27 '18 at 7:57
  • It's something that needs specialist knowledge and my primary role is to talk to customers and win more business.
    – Jimbo101
    Nov 27 '18 at 11:06

Involve your boss, you should have done this from the start.

Email what is needed, cc your boss, rinse and repeat until either your boss does their job and intervenes. Or the work gets done.

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    I've told my boss but nothing has been actioned. I'll try escalating again and cc them in.
    – Jimbo101
    Nov 27 '18 at 11:07

This seems strange to me. As a software developer, every action I take is as a result of some form of “work ticket” (e.g JIRA item).

These are presented to me, with schedule, already prioritized. I do not choose what order I do things in, and would be in trouble if I did.

It’s not totally authoritarian. I do get asked before receiving teaks, and I can make suggestions, which can result in changes, but the onus is on management to schedule my work.

The problem that I suspect is not with your tech guys (overworked as they are), but with Processes.

Just as there are processes whereby my boss turns s/w requirements and change requests into work for me, there are processes where someone (e.g project manager, change review committee, etc) , tracks that work, ensures that it is done, and decides on the relaxant action when it is not.

At first glance, the solution might seem to be just to get more tech guys, but I think that there is something more fundamental underlying that. Even if you get more tech guys, it is unlikely to help without proper processes in place.

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    Completely agree. I am struggling on this project as the work tickets assigned are well overdue by a month and there is no process or single figure who is prioritising these. Thanks, I'll try raising this as a process issue as well where teams have a level of accountability.
    – Jimbo101
    Nov 27 '18 at 11:08
  • Welcome aboard, Jimbo Not that I need the points, and am certainly not fishing for them (you can’t buy either questions or curry with them), but they are how we give feedback round here, so that others can see in future what the OP found useful. You can upvote or downvote answers, upvote comments , and accept an answer – but don’t accept anything yet; give it a few days to see what sort of feedback you get ... -> Nov 27 '18 at 11:44
  • Note that it also acceptable (though less common on this site than others) to post your own answer to your own question if none of the others are fully satisfactory, or if you discover an answer, through research, Google, debugging, whatever, after posting. That still helps others in future. Finally, there is not rule or even guideline, but when I get active in questions on this site, I really like it when the OP comes back and tells us how it turned out (after acting on our advice). You don’t have to, but that too helps others. Welcome. I hope that we can help you, and you can help others. Nov 27 '18 at 11:44
  • Btw, with regard to your comment. What would happen if you did not do any of those work tickets/ who would find out, and how? That might be an informal process with a small “p”, which ought to be turned into a formal Process. In bigger orgs, you will even have people who audit those Processes to see if they are meaningful and if they are complied with (think ISO-9000, et al). There's a reason for Processes, and it’s not to put obstacles in the way of getting the job done – quite the reverse, especially if one looks at the big picture, and not just one’s own job ... -> Nov 27 '18 at 12:45
  • ...> Your management ought to know this, of course, but why not try to instigate a discussion? The key point is to explain how it will benefit them personally, and the project/the company. Nov 27 '18 at 12:45

Instead of asking them about your important items, ask them for a meeting about the important items, ask for a 30min meeting (e.g.).

It's very ennoying when someone comes in and starts asking questions while they're working one something which might take concentration (and working as fast as possible takes a lot of concentration), and if you come in with your questions, you're disturbing them, which nobody really likes.

When you ask for a meeting, they can suggest a few timeslots. Maybe they don't work as effective at the end of the day and can help you then. Of maybe they have some available time because they have to wait for something. Ask them. And CC your manager/boss.

Hi, I would like to be updated/have some questions about XYZ. I would like to plan a 30mins meeting, when would it best suit you? [possibly 2 or 3 suggestions to pick from].

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