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I have been assigned to work on a project that will become Program v2.0. I'm not going into what exactly "Program v2.0" is but as the name implies, it's a completely new version and will come with major changes to the technologies it uses. There are major changes being made for Program v2.0 that coworkers will not agree with and they're being kept out of the loop on.

I've spoken to the manager and requested that he/she communicate these changes to the coworkers. The manager agreed, however, that was 1.5+ months ago and there is now a new manager. The old manager is still making decisions, all the while, making the new manager sign off on these decisions. There's various documents that I have access to but are being withheld from my colleagues.

In a few months my colleagues will be having to work on Program v2.0. There seems to be a real lack of transparency and to make things worse, the company I work for is very bureaucratic. My coworkers are not going to be happy when they find out about some of the changes and have been asking me about changes, but I have been trying to not tell them too much. Basically, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

What should I do? Should I provide my coworkers with documents and information on this project? Or, should I withhold them and wait for a manager to make the changes known?

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    Are you in any way responsible for end-user adoption, customer acceptance, rollout, or end-user documentation?
    – Steve
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 16:19

2 Answers 2

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should I withhold them and wait for a manager to make the changes known?

Just refer everything to the manager to respond to when questioned.

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Talk to your new manager as soon as possible. Inform them about this project and make sure three things get transported in this meeting:

  • the manager needs to decide how they want to handle it
  • the manager needs to be prepared for serious blowback and demotivation
  • the manager needs to apply some serious people management skills or be prepared to hire people short term

You and your previous manager have proven that you do not value any input the other developers may have. Not only that, but you do not even trust them with the information that you ignored them. Which is a clear signal that even you yourself do not trust your decision to be the best way forward. And you want them to work on this with you no less. So they will be furious. Some of them will wonder whether it is worth working for a company that treats them as programming monkeys that have no decision making power. Some of them will question whether you are still their equal and will see you as the managers lackey and not part of the team. And some will be tempted by outside offers that still provide what they like, even if v2 of your product does not. And some combination of this might be enough to let them take other offers. I doubt anybody will ragequit over this, but the bar to say yes to other offers will be lowered significantly. So your manager needs to be prepared.

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