Currently working for a Defense Contractor as a DevOps System Engineer, in which I'm supporting software developers, getting out frequent software builds to our customer. Don't have an exact count of how many developers there are however my team is a total of three. Myself, another person who comes with an extensive software development/DevOps background and my Team Lead, who has been with the company for over 15 years.
This Contracting Company has a lot of issues in their work environment that I've observed in the year I've been working there, such as the following:
- Lack of formal training for the software we are suppose to test installing and support
- Various Team Leads not being serious in finding better ways of doing things by implementing various DevOps tools. The attitude observed over and over again is keep doing what we're doing. Don't change anything.
- Lack of planning for cutting over from Virtual Machines to Containers and an Orchestration in this software product, which has caused missed delivery dates to the customer.
- Resistance to Agile and Scrum, which has only been implemented in the last 6 months, along with opening tickets in Jira and documenting issues in those tickets and closing tickets when the work is complete.
- Lack of engagement from team leaders to fellow co-workers.
- Steady turnover of employees due to various reasons (I myself have advertised to other IT recruiters that I would like to move on, along with many other new employees).
We've recently gotten a new Program Manager, who comes with over 20 years of software development in private industry and in the defense industry. I have not met this person face-to-face at this time, however this person wants to meet face-to-face with my team to discover where we think we are having issues and try to fix them.
Don't know if the new Program Manager is sincere, however my Team Leader will be in these meeting and in my professional opinion, this person is part of the problems being faced here, with the following examples:
- Acting aloof when suppose to create a user accounts for various technologies that we're suppose to be adopting, embracing and using daily.
- Playing stupid when my team is suppose to be embracing new DevOps technologies that would improve many manual business processes.
- Not following best practices from vendors when implementing new technologies, which causes issues in upgrades and often re-work. I've brought this up with the Team Lead before and its gone nowhere.
- Installing older software because "we've always done it this way" or "its worked in the past" type attitude, which ends up causing more issues.
- Keeping a death grip on work knowledge and a lack of coaching or sharing that knowledge when it comes to issues or not documenting these issues that way if we come up with the same issue again, we know how we fixed it.
- Lack of communication from the Team Leader to myself and the other person on my team. Basically goes "Rogue" when implementing changes and then we're left wondering what has happened or why something was done the way it was done.
My question is how do I tactically and professionally bring up these issues in this meeting without everyone becoming defensive or emotional?