I am working for an IT Organization which provides outsourcing services. We have placed at client location. Our organization is one of the vendor to the client along with other vendors. The contract with my earlier project is over, and I don't have any projects to work on currently, so my management placed into a month-long, short term project at client location as an additional resource to the team. The management strategy behind this is to either
- give me some work to do until they find a long term project for me
- let me do well on this project, impress the client, and continue to work in a more permanent capacity.
It is very important for me to learn as much as I can and get client approval for long-term placement.
The team has only one person who has to work closely with different other teams and who has been working in that role from the past 6 months. I am a second person in that team. And he is also a vendor from my organization. Hence my management added a responsibility to him to monitor and bringing me up to the speed but not at the cost of project deliverables and project schedule. Hence it is low priority responsibility compared to Other. Now I am not getting enough help and guidance from him to learn the project and ramp up.
The problem is that I am not getting enough help and guidance from him to learn the project and ramp up.
Below are my experiences with him so far:
- He avoids discussions with me and hardly spends time to interact with me. If a situation occurs to convey something he just conveys what ever he wants and goes back to sidestepping all my questions and concerns.
- When I have an issue he could help me with, he'd rather fix it for me himself so I can get back to work than teach me how to fix it. He doesn't explain what caused it or how he fixed it.
- When I have an issue he doesn't know how to solve, he leaves it to me to fix and has no interest in discussing it at all.
- When I find a solution for an issue and bring it to his attention for review, he hardly spends 5 minutes to give his comments/opinions, and refuse to discuss the issue further.
- He also refuses to give me tasks and asks me to pick up tasks from the list of available open tasks.
- He also refuses to involve me in the discussions with other teams who are working on the same project. I never attended any meeting along with him. I don't know the other teams and contact person who are involved in this project. And others also doesn't know me.
One day I have discussed with him my difficulties learning, and requested his help. His answer was
I don't have enough time to spend with you. Anyway you will leave the team after one month. I am not seeing any benefit for the team and me by spending time to bring up speed. You do your own self study and learn the things.
These issues are making it difficult for me to learn from him. Apart from the basic technical knowledge which I can learn from books and the internet, and basic application knowledge (which I can learn from manuals), I have to learn specific areas from him. He holds valuable knowledge about the application and project (for example information about specific tools and their usage in the project, debugging mechanism about various layers, history behind critical issues in the project) which is very important to learn. The client essentially sees us as team and expects that we hold that maturity and knowledge with us. It is not desirable to do all the research and reinvent the wheel again from the perspective of the client.
And another day I have discussed my difficulties with his mentor who also from our organization and works for the same client. This guy is not manager, but responsible from deliverables from our organization. He is not the one who places into the team. After listening my entire story he says that "As per my experience with him and from your story I feel that he has fear of being replaced. I can not intervene in this situation as I am not the one who placed you into his team as long as he is delivering the work with expected quality and with in time lines. You have to find your own ways to learn from him."
How can I learn from this senior team member who has fear of being replaced?