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This question is related to How do I request new equipment for the office?.

New equipment need (e.g. PC with little bit higher specs + second monitor) was reported and discussed some 6 months ago. My boss agreed that I need one for current and future tasks and even has sent some initial mail to responsible department. After that I've reminded him number of times (by mail too) about it, but no result. Last month I've stopped reminding, because get tired of that useless actions.

Tasks get more complex as project evolves and now it's really uncomfortable and time consuming to use existing hardware. Same time the company reduced payable long hours. Because of this one of our teams project is going to be at risk.

I want to wait the project risks to be really urgent and share above reasons with my boss then he realize that urgency. From one hand I feel not good about that, because it might lead to negative effects on me. From the other, sorting my bosses tasks and reminding him every day about his commitments are clearly out of my responsibilities.

Some background: my boss is busy on meeting almost all day, so long conversations usually impossible (tried it number of times, but he just go to next meeting in 5 mins); It's Asian type company with quite tough hierarchy, so going to boss of my boss will not be appreciated by almost everybody.

Is there any good way to resolve the issue and avoid additional risks to the project?

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    If you keep raising it and documenting the fact that you have been doing so and there is no action, then the risk falls to those who aren't actioning this. I'd suggest keep raising it anyway, then if the project starts to fall behind you have a very large amount of documentation proving that you told-them-so. – Jane S Jul 31 '15 at 2:05
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    What makes you think that your boss is the one and only reason why you are not getting a new monitor? What makes you think rthat the one obstacle to your getting your second monitor is him? – Vietnhi Phuvan Jul 31 '15 at 3:02
  • @VietnhiPhuvan I know that decision about budget on these things is his responsibility. It's not mentioned that he's only one, just first and main one. – sandrstar Jul 31 '15 at 3:17
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I suspect you've getting ignored because you haven't made the case for why the company should spend this money. You need to show that this is putting the project at risk, and that spending the money is cost-effective.

Boss? I'm afraid we're going to miss the deadline for Project X because our hardware is so slow. Compiling/running tests takes Y minutes each time, during which we can't do anything else, and we have to do this Z times a day.

If we invest $A in new hardware, we can cut that down to Y/2 minutes and we'll gain (Y*Z*7)/2 hours of productive time per developer every week. Given that you're paying everybody at least $B per hour, this is a no-brainer!

Then follow up with a spreadsheet showing how much $$$ the new hardware will save over a year, which he can use to justify this to his superiors.

  • Good answer :) Even if it isn't the reason why it's being ignored, raising a case for it is the right approach. Then if they still don't do anything about it, you can show the impact of that decision on productivity. – Jane S Jul 31 '15 at 2:32
  • Thanks. Will try to search the way to determine 'cut down' close to real without new hardware at hand. Another problem that there's not many developers under that particular project (only 2 engineers), so gain will be not that significant. Probably, having happy and not stressed developers which sure about their equipment and ability to fix / build fast also a good gain. – sandrstar Jul 31 '15 at 3:18
  • I think this is dependent on what the boss's attitude on the subject. If the boss is seeing the complaint as invalid because it "works" then it's going to be pretty hard to sell the idea to him. – Dan Aug 3 '15 at 19:17
  • @Dan That's exactly why you need to show him that the current state of affairs is not "working". – jpatokal Aug 3 '15 at 22:27
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my boss is busy on meeting almost all day, so long conversations usually impossible [...] Is there any good way to resolve the issue and avoid additional risks to the project?

On behalf of all bosses busy with meetings: Yes there is a way. Don't expect us to have time for important things while we try to squeeze a meal or toilet break in between two meetings. The day is full of meetings because a lot of people want to talk to us and you are only one of them. The solution is dead simple: Schedule a meeting! Write it all up, put it into the Outlook (or any other system you use) appointment and then meet with your boss. Take meeting minutes with the results and mail them to all who attended afterwards.

  • Funny thing, that there's so effective processes in current company that he doesn't use outlook or any other automatic system. He has meeting in his notebook or another participants just call his mobile. Anyway, our team is not sales / marketing / requirement to meeting every day without timeout, somebody need to create things) – sandrstar Jul 31 '15 at 11:07
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    @sandrstar If that's his system, use it. Call him on his mobile and ask for a meeting. My point is: don't expect him to break out of his system for you. Instead, use it like the others do that talk to him. They are so successful doing it, that it takes up his whole day, so jump on the bandwaggon and do the same. – nvoigt Jul 31 '15 at 11:17
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    @nvoigt OK, so now he's got half an hour with the boss, then what? The crux of the issue is that he's not having luck convincing the boss that this is a priority. – jpatokal Jul 31 '15 at 12:34
  • @jpatokal Then the boss has the time to think about it. Have you ever been in the situation where you are thinking about the last meeting, thinking about your next meeting and someone asks or reminds you about something totally out of context of both meetings? I'm telling you, talking to somebody in the 5 minutes between two meetings is a sure way to get forgotten. And that seems to be what happened. Multiple times. – nvoigt Jul 31 '15 at 12:56
  • @jpatokal I'm absolutely in favor of what you said in your answer. That's a solid point. But you need to get this across when the boss has the time to think about it. Between two meetings, it does not matter how well you present your case, you will always get ignored. – nvoigt Jul 31 '15 at 13:00
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I'm going to add an additional answer:

You could offer to do it yourself. It's very easy to say "Yes / No" to an option, whereas it might feel like a lot of work to arrange everything.

You could create an order for a setup you need, and for a setup slightly better than that (lasting a bit longer). With those options you could walk up to your employer and say something like

Hi [Boss],
About the new equipment I've requested; I've noticed that it has lost it's momentum. To keep things going I've gathered info for these two options to improvement my equipment. I think I could work more comfortably with this setup, my workflow could improve with this equipment.

To save you some time and effort, I've created these two options of which you could sign off one for me to order, and then I'll do it [after work*]. I prefer Option B (the better one) because it will last a bit longer.

*The after work part is optional. Yes, this is for work, but it seems like a small investment of time if it'll decrease your irritation.

  • Actually, already followed accepted answer with no visible result. So, ordered ram, ssd and monitor by myself (~300$, not that expensive to be honest). Will just take it away with me then leave the company. – sandrstar Aug 3 '15 at 23:48

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