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I have a new boss. He got us all WFH fortunately.

He also got himself to be the CIO (Chief Information Officer). He talks the talk very well but many things he says and does indicate he doesn't know enough about what I (and perhaps others too) am doing or why, to adequately understand I say or request what I do, etc., nor to even ask good questions. I don't feel respected by him either but I am stuck here and must survive another 6-some years until I'm 67+ and can retire with full SS if such a thing exists 7-8 years from now.

He also wants us to start implementing and using MS Office 365 and seemingly ignore the fact that our servers and storage are 6 years old and both must be replaced because of how the existing servers and storage are configured (both VMware host servers contain internal storage running StoreVirtual VSA, which is software-defined storage). Can't replace only the servers, which he thinks can be done, the storage would have to go to. It was hard enough getting him to understand the existing virtual servers aren't easily going away (e.g. domain controllers for one example).

I understand I overshot with trying to move to a more orthodox server/SAN setup that costs more, sigh. I should have done something similar to what I did before but with StarWind software instead of StoreVirtual.

What should I do to encourage him to understand what I say and why I say it??

That's okay, the above question was an impossible request, I am really looking more for how to manage someone who does not know as much as he needs to know to understand what I do or why I do it, and doesn't even ask questions to learn more, etc. How to manage someone who seems to me a mediocre boss.

Should I expend time writing long educational explanations and put up with his bad decisions and seeming inability to have a phone call or conversation?? I probably MUST do some combination of the above.

For now I will first try doing an initial explanation of how the existing servers and storage function, plus offer to explain via phone, and see what happens.

The last and only conversation in the past 3 months was a Zoom where he did most of the talking and didn't like one of my answers...next one is a Zoom department meeting where I won't do well because I am not good at such events.

He's IMNSHO not adequately qualified to be a CIO qua person who knows and understands what I do (doesn't even ask for explanations etc.) but he's good at playing the people/politics games which I have no clue how to do...I don't feel respected b/c the only things I ever get are orders and requests to do things.

I wish I'd thought to ask here sooner than later but better late than never. Perhaps whatever feedback I get from WP SE will help me through this.

Thank you!!

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  • Have you tried the simple approach: "Boss, initiative X cannot work with our existing technology"
    – sf02
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 15:19
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    Your post sounds like a bit of a rant. Perhaps best solution would be is to talk to your boss on the eye level and not from the stand point of professional speaking to a noob that got lucky to get some powerful position he does not deserve
    – Strader
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 16:06
  • Both above responses are spot on. I'm trying to figure out how to explain why X is not appropriate and how to deal with an apparent desire to do everything by email.
    – Parkaboy
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 16:15

1 Answer 1

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Without knowing much more about your boss, it seems there is a disconnect between you and your boss. You seem to be a technical person, who typically talks in terms of data throughput, storage, and bandwith.

Your manager, meanwhile, talks in terms of cost and product. This is what a manager is paid to be concerned about.

What you need to do is translate what you are saying to your manager, from terms of computational capacity to terms of cost.

How? That's easy. What happens when you put shiny new software on top of hardware that just can't handle it? It will either fail completely, requiring the team to put the old software back in place, which costs man-hours for zero benefit to the company, or it will chug like a tractor on a highway. If this service is employee facing, you will rack up the costs as employees wait for simple things to compute, or even lose product as the server overloads and crashes. This all costs the business serious sums of money. If this service is customer-facing, you're going to lose a lot of business, as most customers will spend less than 20 seconds waiting for a page to load.

Expand your discussions to involve the end costs of things, and you're likely to have much better success.

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  • This is a good idea except that what's involved is not truly about cost/product. Only some of it is. I'm simply going to try to explain things as clearly as possible then await and respond as clearly as possible to the next lack of understanding. :)
    – Parkaboy
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 16:17
  • You're not listening. Everything your manager does relates to cost/product in some way. Everything you do has a cost/product impact as well. You just need to find out what that impact is and lay it out for your manager. Explain that putting Office 365 on 6 year old servers that need replacing has a cost in lower productivity. Explain that replacing the servers without replacing the storage will cause the systems to fail, which will result in loss of productivity. The last bit in both of those examples will get his attention. Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 18:36

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