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I have a somewhat of a consistent issue I deal with at the workplace. The issue is lack of clearly defined priorities. It is whomever vocalizes, complains, makes a case the loudest, wins.
So far things have been "alright" and did not blow up, thanks to relaxed work culture and things like lack of micro-management (which is good). So there is not a big problem in that sense. But it is an issue that I would like to manage better nevertheless.
I am in essence working onsite at a client's office, and I have a manager who is part of my team but sits in another office area. My customers usually come from different departments and request vastly different things that are to be done. Because they are from different places, I don't always define priority very well. Sales might come and say we need something now, and when I say I'm working for something on Engineering they say drop that task from Engineering and work on Sales. Sales is important I may do as they suggest. Later, Engineering says why are you working on Sales, What Sales asked is not as important as what we have. That's where I facepalm.
At a big meeting today I asked.. I am not always clear on priorities, and big bosses said ... jokingly ... everything is top priority and is to be done next. And indeed, any one task that I work on, will ease someone's life a little bit.
I am sure that if I sat down with them and expressed the need for the need for priority, I will get something. But then I also understand that everybody wants things done and have them done yesterday, and there is only one me working on that specific area that people request having work done. Decision to hire more people so far has not passed, nor it may be an issue, so it's just me so far.
I am in a place where I find that I may need to define certain office culture of getting things done because so far this have not been very clearly defined. And that includes not defining priorities. Right now I kind of pick what I work on based on implicit direct manager approval (he is in a meeting when big task A gets dispensed and agreed upon), and work on little things as they come up.
There needs to be more transparency. We have a ticketing system that I have not been using or using sporadically. Most people just come and 'bug me' at my office and bypass the ticketing system. I can certainly create tickets myself when starting to work on a particular task, if that will help.
I mean I can start being "the change in the company", maybe go as far as implement agile workstream, but how far do I go, where do I start. I'm not in a managerial position so I don't want to suddenly start saying "go that way", and I don't want to try to manipulate management from below either. Or maybe that's not the right thing to do anyways.
Maybe I might start with using email more, as getting everyone into a meting may be difficult every time. But make my goal is to be making things more transparent, like identify key stakeholders and then email out to all "hey I am working on Sales today and for the next 2 weeks", if you don't like that, say something now, before I lock it in. But then anyway...
I am looking for a systemic approach to managing priorities and tasks in a currently relaxed work culture when there are plenty of tasks big and small to work on, and they are all important and all to be done next.