Monday, 24 September 2007

Making Change Possible

Every day at work it is my job to push us technically towards a complete enterprise solution to provide our functionality via the web to external development teams and also for internal consumption. The company is a start-up created by a entrepreneur who has thoroughly proven himself in the initial dot com boom and has come up with another great idea. A lot of people have good ideas but the only ones that are worth anything are the ones that actually get built. Obvious but difficult to pull off and bloody hard work.

Before I arrived at the company, the idea had matured and we now have a pretty good map of where we want to go. There are the usual tides which move the goal posts and sometimes hide them behind trees. It's the usual journey to a product, as opposed to a project. I am a project girl through and through and the adjustment has been a positive challenge in my career. Product work is far less satisfying in the short term but I do see that product work could be fantabulously satisfying if the blood and sweat are invested.

The most difficult challenge I face each day is the naysayers. They are not jerks. They are resisting change because people just don't like change.

In Peopleware, they refer to what Machiavelli wrote in The Prince...

"And it should be considered that nothing is more difficult to handle, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than to put oneself at the head of introducing new orders. For the introducer has all those who benefit from the old orders as enemies, and he has lukewarm defenders in all those who might benefit from the new orders."

That is damn depressing. It is true and it's a harsh truth that encourages you to accept how difficult the task at hand is. Convincing people to change to even the most obvious, universally accepted solution is not for the faint hearted.

Should I try to pull them by the hair kicking and screaming away from the .NET 1.0 COM-like component based blob to a set of RESTful web services written in Ruby? Is that too much change? If I try will I succeed if everyone is resisting?

To quote a harsh but more positive man...

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'" - Yoda


mei said...

Love the Yoda quote, somehow reminded me this quote

"Live, or Die, like there is no Tomorrow"

Mana said...

Well Mei, I think I choose life.

I choose to "do not".