I’m one of 10 software developers within a government organization. We support the 30 or so pieces of software that keep the organization running and build new software to ensure that we can continue to service our citizens. Some of those software pieces have multiple client organizations across North America.
The people assigned to work with them range from software developers to people who do DB reporting, but are used to GUI tools and think that SQL is a wrapper.
We provide most of the technical support for all of these various people.
The problem is that all these various people want to dip their hands deeper into the developer pool of resources and nobody seems to know what should be prioritized.
It isn’t a matter of getting more work done as 1/4 of the work is sitting in meeting so they can get developer input “just in case” or providing an immediate solution to the person who couldn’t be bothered to read the manual and decided to instead repeatedly call my Skype and will just call and call and call until he gets an answer. I can’t work my way out of it by working long hours.
My main problem is this:
I am assigned to three projects.
- Building a new application for one of our business units. This is a major production application which will take two years to build with current theoretical resources.
- Building a new (much smaller) application for another one of our business units. This should just have been a few weeks but stakeholder meetings drag on and on and on.
- Supporting two of our existing applications. Support is defined broadly as per above.
The product owner for project 1 insists that I was promised to her full time. Her manager also agrees that promise was made. As a result, I should, in her mind, be 100% available to work on her project.
The product owner for project 2 insists that her project has the highest ROI and should be prioritized. She also claims that she is only getting half the developer resources promised and thinks that she deserves 100% of me as well as another developer. She also wants me in the endless stakeholder meetings (mostly doing other stuff on my laptop). Problem is, those meetings overlap with project 1.
Finally, the support calls come in randomly and people want their answer NOW. They just won’t stop calling my Skype or my office phone until they get an answer because they want it NOW. When I need to do deep work, a colleague and I call each other and just leave the phones off the hook so they get a busy signal. They still light up Teams, but that can be muted. None of these calls are urgent. They are all SQL reporting from employees who need every select statement written for them.
My manager doesn’t know what I should be prioritizing as it was his predecessor who made all the promises to various people. He just said “realize you will piss people off and know you won’t get fired.”
I find this answer unfair to me as I have to deal with the angry people. I told my manager this as his answer was a factious “come up with a script to automate his job and I’ll nominate him as a wasteful expenditure.”
His manager keeps promising to figure out a solution (I asked two months ago), but never gets back to me even though I ask every two weeks.
What would you do in this situation? I’m mostly trying to figure out how I should prioritize my work/meetings attendance.