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I've been working for the same employer for many years. During the last 6 years, I was working on two projects: Project A, where I used to be a team member for a short period of time and after that I became team lead and also I made all architectural decisions. Project A is middle-sized, around 6 developers at the most; Project B, where I was either a team member or team leader, but where I had no influence on architectural decisions. Project B is a big project with a lot of teams and a lot of developers and testers working on that. On Project A kanban was used without any strict time limitations, while on Project B scrum was implemented.

I was working on Project A, then on Project B, then again on Project A and now I am informed that I will be assigned to Project B soon.

However, I am not very happy about that. When I was working on Project B, this was almost a nightmare, very stressful experience. There were multiple issues on that project. First of all, as a team lead, I had the responsibility for the sprint delivery, but I didn't have means for that. Jira issues couldn't have been closed before the testers test them, and testers couldn't test them before the corresponding code was migrated to QA environment, and due to CI implementation, code was migrated to QA environment only when code was merged into dev branch but I wasn't given rights to merge into dev, so I had to beg either solution architects or other team leads to merge pull requests from my time into dev and they always delayed this process and this was really a blocker.

Another problem was that I was not allowed to talk directly to clients. I thought that I could forget English without talking to clients. Also we didn't have information about client expectations. The Jira issue information was very vague, we didn't understand what was needed by clients and we never had any mockups to be able to understand how they imagine the desired outcome.

I felt very stressed because of all of these issues. Also I was humiliated by solution architect and by other team lead and I wasn't able to defend myself or my position or my team.

Other teams overworked during evenings, nights and weekends while I didn't want my team to overwork, so my team had smaller velocity than those teams which were working on the weekends, evenings and nights.

Long story short, I didn't really like to work on that project B, so when I returned to Project A, I felt great relieve since nobody humiliated me on that project and we had a really better process implemented.

I was informed that I will be assigned to Project B soon, and I feel like I have no choice. I was promised that every major issue in project organization was resolved, so now developers do not overwork, have direct communication to the clients. The only choice I have it either to try and confirm that Project B organization was really changed and I will like working on Project B or quit.

So I wonder if should I try working on Project B or this isn't worth and I should quit?

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    Is there a reason to believe that the promise about the resolutions of the problem you faced / complained about earlier is not true? – Sourav Ghosh Jul 3 at 5:45
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    And, have you talked to anyone on project B to confirm it? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jul 3 at 6:22
  • Did you try pushing back on unclear JIRA requests and require for large changes a proper souce controlled requirements doc - which can be referenced on the ticket. – Neuromancer Jul 3 at 19:00
  • I have not yet talked to anyone working on project B except the person who is solution architect now on project B and who informed me that he wants me to be reassigned to his project – Brendan Buzzard Jul 3 at 20:40
  • Also it is a good question if there is any logical and rational reason to distrust the promises. I can't find any rational reason right now, just past bad experience and my gut feeling both tell me that I should be cautious. – Brendan Buzzard Jul 3 at 20:43
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I was promised that every major issue in project organization was resolved, so now developers do not overwork, have direct communication to the clients. The only choice I have it either to try and confirm that Project B organization was really changed and I will like working on Project B or quit.

From your statement, it appears that you have raised your concerns previously and there were action items carried out to eliminate the issues / concerns you raised.

Given that there is assurance that the problems have been taken care of, and you should expect a much friendly atmosphere now, you can certainly attempt to work in Project B once again and check for yourself.

  • If things are as they are promised, it's good.
  • If things turn out to be not as promised, then you have a bigger problem than the work culture for that project, it's the false promise that is made to you regarding the expected changes. At that point of time, you should think of moving away from the employer.
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    Agree, false promise would be bigger problem rather than the work culture – Brendan Buzzard Jul 3 at 20:55
  • False promises are also extremely common in the industry and I'd venture to say that in VAST majority of cases promises of improved processes and work environment are hogwash. Especially if people in teams leadership weren't replaced. – Mavrik Jul 4 at 2:47
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It seems you clearly understand that your Project B uses fake scrum. It seems you competently resisted some fake-scrum nonsense (extra large velocity numbers) in your previous tenure on the project. That is excellent experience, even if it was unpleasant.

You also noticed that you had responsibility (prepare code for test, for example) without authority (merge permissions). You did not solve those problems. But you identified them clearly.

Perhaps they have resolved some of those fake-scrum problems, perhaps not. This much is certain: You will have to handle some process foolishness as a team lead on that Project B.

One approach: do what you did before: defend your team and do your best.

Another: do your level best at your job, but when somebody blocks your team from finishing work, just point out the problem "We're blocked by a delayed merge request," and work on other things. Don't rescue uncooperative people.

A third: have a private conversation with the person who claimed they've solved the problems. Offer to be part of the solution as you work as a team lead. You seem to be skilled at improving processes. Ask how you can bring those skills to the table in this Project B.

  • I am promised that I WILL have the right to merge into dev now – Brendan Buzzard Jul 6 at 20:02

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