This is going to be kind of meta. I work for a city government and am, and I say this humbly, probably the most technical person on staff. I've built websites, deployed with Docker, Heroku and AWS, worked on large data applications, autonomous vehicles, plenty of different database technologies plus I'm actually a mechanical engineer so I know how to program robots, CNCs... all the fun stuff. As a result of working those projects I discovered and fell in love with Stack Overflow (Love I say!!). The honeymoon is going on 7 years strong.
Naturally, when I heard that SO released Teams I became excited to introduce the service to my team (Even though Teams is best for developers, a SO rep has confirmed that my non-dev team could enjoy the service by hiding the technical mumbo jumbo).
I presented the idea to my boss Ken and he liked it so much that he called in James, my other boss, mid pitch. So I pitched James and at the end Ken turns to James and says, "What do you think about using this for your Leadership Development Project?"
James sat there not really saying anything so Ken asked, "Did you have any other ideas you wanted to work on?" to which James muttered and shrugged a little to the effect of, "No".
Ken liked the idea so much he suggested that if it were to work out well for our department we would spread it to the rest of the (600 or so person) organization. By the end it sounded like James would be the one to lead the deploy if he wants.
Being the "Let's get $H1T done" kind of leader person I am, I wanted start setting up accounts for my team right after the meeting (government, if you're not painfully aware, is really slow at lots of things. I've been trying to change that). I asked Ken for his endorsement and he said, "No, let's wait for James to decide if he wants to make this his project."
So it's becoming clear that this won't be my project and I won't get credit for it. Not only will James get organizational credit, but, if he desires, he'll get school credits too. What's more, last week I got an email from James asking basic questions about Teams and why it would be better than the alternatives (he's never even heard of Stack Overflow). On one hand my job responsibility dictates that I need to answer him but on the other, by answering him I would literally be doing his homework. I don't want to do his homework and I don't want him to lead the deploy of an idea I'd lead him throughout.
- Ken knows that I'm an engineer and that I'm being paid a fraction of my market rate to do this job.
- I'm doing this job because it's an opportunity for me to fix a lot of broken stuff that impacts 10s of thousands of people. I can make my city better and that feels good. I don't want to quit. If money were the object I have other options.
- Still, if I'm not getting paid well, I at least want to get credit for something that's going to be used by the whole organization.
- My coworkers respect me. Even though I've only worked there for about 2 months my colleagues, including Ken, have said things to the effect of "You do really great work", "knows a lot", "he's (I am) a boss entrepreneur" (because I've started businesses).
- I think Ken was genuinely trying to be helpful to James. I don't think Ken understands how this makes me feel (if he did he may not have recommended it).
- The tricky part of it: Since I'm such a problem solver and there are so many of them here (technical and organizational), I see myself becoming the colleague who always has some criticism. Like I think people are beginning to think "nothing's ever good enough" for me. I've picked a lot of battles already and haven't lost any but I'm still "fighting" (I don't like that word) because there's A LOT to fix. I'm concerned that me broaching the conversation with Ken will enhance this image. Further, I fear people thinking I'm a credit hungry self promoter who can't play well on teams.
How do I convince Ken to let me be the one to deploy teams to our organization? Should I even have that conversation?