I have been working in my current company for over a year, I am the only one doing activity X and the only expert at it.

I was told I would lead a department regarding activity X after a year or so during the first few months on the role.

I have already shown the results of activity X to my n + 1, n + 2, with great results and feedback, I have shown a way to handle workload for projects and a way to handle distribution of knowledge simultaneously so we can start with the department and I get more resources.

My work has also been audited by an external auditor as part of an audit, he mentioned it was a great strategy and that we should so this per current applicable normative.

Fast forward to today, and I still do not have any resources, the people that were supposed to be allocated to me have been allocated to other departments due to project needs and my current boss who has no idea of what I do comes today to congratulate me regarding the results of the audit diminishing the impact of my work in those results, and suggesting I might be asked to stop working on activity X.

The better I do activity X, the less necessary is my boss for the company. Activity X is DevOps for the most part, with servers running pipelines executing tasks that were previosly done by hand.

I am considering having a conversation with my n + 1 so I can get more information of the direction to take with this given, I cant scale further what I have done with no more resources, but resources are being spent on more people to do things by hand instead.

What do you suggest?

  • 3
    "I was told I would lead a department regarding activity X after a year or so during the first few months on the role." Who told you this? Have you spoken to them recently about this?
    – sf02
    May 24, 2022 at 18:41
  • My boss on behalf of my n + 1, we spoke about this two weeks ago but no real actions are taken.
    – Esteb
    May 24, 2022 at 18:48
  • 5
    what's n+1 in this context? your boss's boss?
    – DarkCygnus
    May 24, 2022 at 19:06
  • 3
    I don't understand what "normative" means the way you're using it. Is that some technical term, do you have a link defining it? May 24, 2022 at 20:03
  • 1
    You are right @DanielR.Collins and thanks for pointing it out. I will edit my post.
    – Esteb
    May 25, 2022 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


The better I do activity X, the less necessary is my boss for the company.

It sounds like you already provided the answer to your own question.

From here out, you have two options:

  • Do nothing while your ongoing project/dept gets put on life support by your boss. Maybe, you can find something else to work on.

  • Go over your manager's head. Note that even if you win this battle, making an enemy of your own manager is almost never a good idea.

But whichever option you choose, you need a backup plan in case things don't work out. So either way, be sure to update your resume and start looking for a job elsewhere.


Ah the classic software trap of "I've automated my job so well, my bosses think it's no longer necessary!"

Here's a really great related question, that can at least speak to the automation part of your problem:

I'm about to automate myself out of a job. How do I approach my boss to discuss this?

You seem to have the impression that your boss owes you some underlings. I don't mean this in a rude way, but he doesn't owe you anything. Regardless of what was promised in the interviews or early months of the jobs, business needs change, and you have to be ready for that change too.

You should definitely clear the air with your management about medium and long term plans for your area of expertise.

If it becomes obvious that they are "fine with the way things are, proceed along your current path", then you have some time to figure out how to make your job really easy.

Automate quietly and spend your free time sharpening your skills in other areas.

If you're really stuck on having direct reports (and understand all the extra headache that comes with it), you can start looking for other jobs that provide that level of management.

  • I have no particular interest on having direct reports, I do not want to be the only one doing what I am doing simply because it is a risk in itself and I cant scale everything as much as I wanted due to resources.
    – Esteb
    May 25, 2022 at 0:17
  • @Esteb Commendable, but is it a risk to you? Point out the low bus factor to your manager and then stop worrying about it.
    – user29390
    May 25, 2022 at 5:19

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