I recently came across an unusual issue, which I analyzed in some detail. I emailed my observations to a Senior Architect, something like this:
While working on Foo, I observed 'Z'. I analyzed this issue further, and found out that it is caused by 'W', as explained below:
- W causes X due to ...
- X causes Y due to ...
- Y causes Z due to ...
To fix this issue, we could do either 'A' or 'B'. However, both these go against the project guidelines due to reasons 1 and 2. Could you please have a look and suggest a different approach?
Regards, Masked Man
2 weeks and 3 reminders later, I got the following response from him:
Hi Masked Man,
Thanks for bringing this issue to my notice. I had a look into it, and it appears that 'W' is the reason for the issue 'Z', because 'W' causes 'X', 'X' causes 'Y' and 'Y' leads to 'Z'. To fix this issue, I suggest you try either 'A' or 'B'.
He has replied with the same analysis and the same solutions that I emailed him! I am not sure if he has actually read my mail completely, or just jumped into the problem on reading the first line.
I am more concerned about whether he realized the part about the solutions being against the project guidelines. I cannot share more details of the issue, but it is easy to miss that these solutions are against the guidelines unless someone spends some time to realize what is going on.
Hence, I can see two possibilities in this case:
- I am wrong about 'A' and 'B' being against the guidelines, and "John" already knows that it won't be a problem, so did not say anything about it.
- "John" had a truckload of issues to look into, and proposed solutions 'A' and 'B', without considering the full ramifications of it.
How do I reply to his email, without sounding rude or condescending, asking him if he has actually read my email, in particular, the portion which talks about violation of the guidelines?