I am working as a contractor and a dev team lead for a US-based organization.
One of the project that we are developing is a highly visible project. Hence many other departments have daily meetings and I am representing my department. We all have come across a problem with the current process of defect management across different departments. A group which is coordinating all the groups arranged a meeting to discuss the issue and find amicable solution to all. Below are the series of events:
- In the meeting we have identified specific approach and agreed to try that approach how it works. Hence team identified some action items and some people are assigned to work on those action items.
- The next day we all have received a Email from a person named Sam with a new process that has specific steps to follow in order to adhere to the new process. I had some questions and confusion about the new process, and I replied to Sam by requesting further clarifications.
- I waited for a day and I didn’t received any clarification. Hence I have replied the Email thread by saying this
“We met the day before yesterday and agreed to try specific approach and find action items. I have got information that action items are completed. Regarding below Email I need some clarifications. Hence we would follow old approach since we got necessary clarifications from the new approach suggested and reach agreement”
I got reply from a person let us name Tilak. Tilak says
“No we are not in agreement. Please follow steps specified by SAM”
Then I PMed the Coordination department and asked
“I just saw the mail from Tilak. Have I missed any meeting? Where did this new process come from suddenly, that we haven’t even discussed?”.
The PM replied
“If it is painful just reply saying that and push back” .
Then I replied to all by referring to my project manager who is in the mail thread:
“Dear PM, This process suggested by Sam is painful for us. It is not acceptable to us. Can you help to bring amicable solution for both”
Then I went to our daily scrum and discussed the issue and every one felt that it should be escalated to our department Director level.
When I came back from meeting I saw reply from Tilak saying
“ If is not acceptable, escalate to your higher management”
Immediately I did escalate to Director of my department.
Later I realize Tilak is director and Sam is senior manager from other side. After the above incident i suddenly felt I have crossed my boundaries and felt some strange looks and treatment from some of my colleagues.
I felt that I might have disturbed the friendly work environment and I have suddenly attracted everyone's attention in a negative way. Being a contractor, this situation might cause political problems for me in the future.
How can I take corrective steps to avoid political risks and hazards in the future?