I work for group A of a large company as a senior software developer / team lead. Group A contains almost all the software development function within the company.
We're currently working on a project with group B of the company, who have a completely different reporting structure - the first common manager we share is the managing director. Group B have a minimal software development function, but have hired a new senior developer - let's call him Archimedes. Archimedes is now nominally my peer on the project and we have shared responsibility for its success.
The trouble is now twofold:
- Archimedes simply isn't good enough at his job. This is acknowledged by the rest of my team and my local management within group A.
- The management within group B don't have enough software development experience to know that Archimedes isn't good enough, and my local management aren't prepared to rock the boat by telling the group B management that the person they've hired isn't up to par. Therefore Archimedes is staying around for the foreseeable future.
What strategies are there for working with Archimedes to try and make the project a success? At the moment, I'm finding myself taking the situation out on Archimedes, but it's not really his fault that he's been hired into a position for which he's not suitable. We're trying to give Archimedes the simpler tasks on the project, but we're still spending as much time fixing up his work as we would be doing it ourselves.
An additional difficulty here is that group A and group B are not located together - there's a number of hours travel between our offices, so there's nobody available to support Archimedes locally to him.
A note on duplicates: I've read How to deal with an incompetent colleague?, but I think this is a different question as in this case there's no real way to convince the people with the authority to remove Archimedes from the project (group B management) that he's not good enough, and also my local management have explicitly said not to do that. Similarly, I don't actually think this is the same question as How to not let co-worker's incompetence affect my productivity - my personal productivity isn't actually being significantly affected here, as I'm not the one having to directly fix up Archimedes's mistakes - but the productivity of the team is.