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You join a team to help them with the project. This is a team that is outside of your main responsibilities. Your boss tells you it's a good project since it's in the early stages and you can influence the project a lot.

After awhile, you noticed some flaws with the project. You pointed them out using data. You thought of a solution. Another team immediately tells you that it cannot be done because of reason X. You then offer an alternative that resolves reason X, and gets no response. At the next team meeting, they act like nothing occurred and continues with the old ways. They continue to assign tasks to you and you feel like just a helping hand to them.

Is that a pretty poor way of managing a project or am I too sensitive? At this point, I'm not sure I want to continue working on the project. I don't see a lot of potential in it. I also felt I was blow off. This is something of a "side" thing anyway.

Thanks

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    Maybe it is rude. Maybe it isn't. Does it matter? Oct 9, 2022 at 18:21
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    @GregoryCurrie, the OP may feel discouraged from coming up with new ideas to improve the projects in the future. Oct 9, 2022 at 18:36
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    Had suggestions ignored. After they spent money ducking it up, then they came back to ask what my idea was. Next time they listened more carefully.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 9, 2022 at 18:49
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    Consider the possibility that they have already considered such improvements and had valid reasons to discard them. Then you come...
    – PM 77-1
    Oct 9, 2022 at 20:07
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    If you believe you are giving valuable input and you literally get "no response", that's a red flag that communication has broken down. When you think someone isn't listening to you, that's a really strong sign that you aren't listening to them either, even if you think you are. You must give them the benefit of earnestly trying to understand their point of view, especially when you are the new member of the team. Oct 10, 2022 at 0:37

3 Answers 3

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What's your role and what's your relationshop to the other members?

You wrote:

After awhile, you noticed some flaws with the project. You pointed them out using data. You thought of a solution.

I see an immediate problem between sentence 2 and 3. You are an outsider, and you try to impose a solution. Instead of that, you should have identified the relevant person or persons, and talked with them. Convince them that there is a problem first. The offer your help. Tell them you can aid them to come up with a solution. Offer to come up with one on your own if they don't have the capacity to do it.

This way, it feels like a shared effort, and their input is valued. Maybe they see something you don't, and you come up with a solution Y instead.

The alternative is to not proceed your change further, or to force it through. If you force it, it will be a power struggle and it will be perceived as such. Expect a lot of resistance and bad blood afterwards.

So instead, try to talking with people about the problem, and once they agree it's a problem, then talk solutions together(!).

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  • So give the solution to the relevant person so they can present it as their own… been there.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 9, 2022 at 19:42
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    @SolarMike it depends. if you have a culture of where teams and groups of people can be praised, you can share the praise. In company cultures where only a single person can be praised per thing, than yeah, that could lead to gifting the praise worthy idea to somebody else.
    – Benjamin
    Oct 9, 2022 at 20:42
  • My situation: Let's say they are doing plan A for awhile, and you've been helping along for months. There's a problem with plan A. You are a passionate and thought of a solution (say plan B) and offer it to them. They tell you plan B is a "good idea" but don't work due to reason X. You then offer plan C which circumvents reason X. No response. At the next meeting, they assign you task (plan A). There's no explanation why plan C wasn't accepted and they did not look into plan C either.
    – user173729
    Oct 11, 2022 at 2:46
  • @user173729 don't offer plan C. Say: "I see (the problem with B). Do you agree there is some problem with A that needs fixing? Great, let's come up with a solution together"
    – Benjamin
    Oct 11, 2022 at 7:12
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Is that a pretty poor way of managing a project or am I too sensitive? At this point, I'm not sure I want to continue working on the project. I don't see a lot of potential in it. I also felt I was blow off. This is something of a "side" thing anyway.

You are likely too sensitive. Nobody has every suggestion accepted.

Honestly, you sound like someone who says "Well, they don't like me, so I don't like them back!" Try not to do that professionally.

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  • Let's say they are doing plan A for awhile, and you've been helping along for months. There's a problem with plan A. You are a passionate and thought of a solution (say plan B) and offer it to them. They tell you plan B is a "good idea" but don't work due to reason X. You then offer plan C which circumvents reason X. No response. At the next meeting, they assign you task (plan A). There's no explanation why plan C wasn't accepted and they did not look into plan C either after you asked. When people offer ideas they should at least get a reason why it's not accepted.
    – user173729
    Oct 11, 2022 at 2:49
  • @user173729 No. This is not kindergarten. This is the adult world. You work, they pay you.
    – RedSonja
    Oct 13, 2022 at 11:37
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Everybody is ignored sometimes. This is not always done purposefully, it's just that the discussion is moving on quickly, there is another thread that caught more attention etc.

You can presumably point to your suggestion in the meeting in a non-confrontational manner (i.e., without saying "my suggestion was ignored"):

Hey, I'd just like to make sure my suggestion of X hasn't got lost. I think it could help addressing the issue.

And see where it goes from there. If they already considered it but dismissed it, you'll know why; if they let it slip, then good, now they know.

Ultimately, if you are dissatisfied with your role in the project, share your concerns with your manager; He said it would be a nice project to "influence" on in the first place.

It could also be that you put too much weight on "influencing" whereas your boss just used it flippantly and that he just thinks your skills fit well into that project, or that the project needs more helping hands. So in a manner it could be an assignment more than a suggestion. Only you and your boss can settle this down.

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