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At a company I currently work (mind you, as a junior), we (as in IT team) are responsible for both the hardware (building the equipment from provided parts) and software (developing applications) parts of the job. However, there is an "that will do" attitude present with the highest management, whether it comes to hardware (some god knows what parts swept from under the deepest shelves at warehouse) to software (How long will it take to make it properly? 2 weeks? You have 2 days, just ignore all the possible errors and application crashes).

When the solutions inevitably fail, the blame is being shifted onto us, which is why I started keeping both paper and electronic trail of all my recommendations, warnings and doubts, making sure all concerned are informed ahead of time. This, to bluntly put it, shuts their mouths for the duration of the current project, but come next one we begin all over again.

Point is, I really like my current team and other coworkers, it's the higher management which I consider to be a problem. Given that, I decided to try and improve the working culture instead of just "Effective xx-xx-xx, I hereby resign from..."

Are there any concrete arguments I could use to open the eyes of "low cost is everything" people?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Draken, Mister Positive, JasonJ, Michael Grubey Jul 5 '17 at 23:12

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    There is one, find a new job because they won't change, they will blame you that's all. – Walfrat Jul 4 '17 at 20:24
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    +1 for starting to keep documentation. Eventually you'll be able to present a pattern down the line, when people are more willing to take you seriously. For the moment you'd best work on building their trust, so that's gonna take a while. – rath Jul 5 '17 at 9:43
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    This is the completely normal situation in all software (or hardware-software) companies. Just get a new job to get a raise. Don't complain - move jobs. – Fattie Jul 5 '17 at 9:55
  • @Fattie where in my post am I complaining about my salary? – Yuropoor Jul 5 '17 at 15:29
  • hi @Yuropoor - you are not, but I know you need a big raise. Enjoy it ! – Fattie Jul 5 '17 at 15:32
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From your description of the situation, I infer that you do not have a lot of clout. As a junior IT person in this organization, I recommend that you start by talking to some of your other coworkers to see if they view the situation the same way. They may have some perspective or experience that is helpful here.

Identifying an issue is only part of the challenge. In addition, you will need to propose an alternative. Those members of your team you like can help you hone your ideas and to see if they seem feasible. I suggest that you start with something small that will make a noticeable impact. Ideally, implementing this idea will form evidence against the "low cost is everything" belief you are trying to change, but your primary concern should be learning how to make beneficial changes in this culture.

Once you've persuaded your colleagues that there is an issue and there is a better way, your best chance of success lies in finding an ally who does have some influence and credibility with the decision maker. For your first attempt, it may be your manager. Then, convince your ally to raise this concern. The most senior member of the team might be a good choice here. You want the person who has the respect and ear of the person you are targeting.

If your idea gets implemented and is successful, your influence will grow. People will remember that you were the one with the good idea. Over time, you can begin to propose solutions to larger issues. As you gain influence, you will be able to raise issues yourself. (In parallel, I recommend you start getting to know members of senior leadership, so you can approach them directly and accelerate this process.)

If this sounds like it will take a long time and that it will be a lot of work, that's because it will be. Many people choose to change companies or departments, because it is often less effort than spearheading large changes. Note also that the above description describes the happy path. There will likely be some false starts, and some proposals that don't pan out. Make sure you find people who can help you remain encouraged and help you push through temporary setbacks.

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    My colleagues share my viewpoint and they are on my side, lower management included. However, it's a "we tried and failed" sort of deal now, but they said if I come up with some reasonable solution I have their backing in this matter. – Yuropoor Jul 5 '17 at 15:30
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Focus on the Money

Avoid technical argument(s) and focus on the money.

Figure out the cost of doing it your way vs the cost today (which should include cost of rework and fixes).

Present to management a BUSINESS PLAN - not a technical one - of how to migrate to a more cost effective method of running IT projects.

Management speak in BUSINESS terms. When they hear technical mumbo-jumbo they get confused. Remember the #1 rule of Sales: A confused mind always says "NO".

Therefore, keep your recommendation focused on MONEY and BUSINESS impact.

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    I always wonder why the technical staff should be expected to learn the manager's language. Shouldn't the guys with the big paychecks be able to interpret what the technical employees are telling them? After all, if the tech guy can think and talk like a manager he should/would be a manager. You are basically telling OP to do management's job for them. Sure, if you are able to pull it off that's great for your career, but most people probably lack the skills or knowledge to analyze costs properly. – Roland Jul 5 '17 at 20:14
  • @Roland, The only reason to change anything in a business is to improve its bottom line, which means making money or saving money or both. Money is the language of business - not tech speak, not management speak - money. Technologists are not alone in proposing changes without merit. Managers use "management speak" to promote change without showing the monetary benefits - reorgs are a great example of wasting money - just a rearrangement of fiefdoms - with no gain. Therefore, any proposed change should be expressed in the language of money regardless if you are a technologist or manager. – user45269 Jul 5 '17 at 23:32
  • OK, but you are still suggesting that a junior tech guy does middle management's job. I'm trying to point out that the junior is usually just not equipped to do that. – Roland Jul 6 '17 at 5:59
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Since costs is everything they care about, you need to speak their language to make yourself heard. to achieve that, keed up your documenting effort, but add costs, and let mathematics do their magic.

Example : you had to rush 2 weeks worth of work in 2 days, this is a net "benefit" of 8 man-days. when the solution crashes, take 15 minutes to estimate the failure's cost, which will probably be much more than those 8 man-days, and do the math.

Once you have all that data, phrase it to avoid pointing fingers, and provide solutions, like @neontapir suggested.

The objective of to make them realize that going cheap is NOT cheap at all.

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