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Software Development Troubleshooting Tip #2: When dealing with a large organization

This actually applies to migrations as well.

I’ll leave ‘large organization’ vague…let’s make up a number and say if your entire software team (including developers, testers and support personnel) is greater than 20, it qualifies.

I’ve seen some organizations do this well, and others…not so much.

If you have a critical production issue, you should have two separate call lines, one dedicated to upper management, and the other dedicated to the people actually trying to fix the problem.  One person should be available on both lines, all others should be kept separate.

The reason for this is fairly simple.  When upper management is on the same line as the people looking to find root cause and determine a fix, you inevitably end up having to try to explain everything that you are trying to do to upper management, often in terms they don’t understand.  Furthermore, every time the people trying to find root cause and determine a fix are discussing various items, upper management interjects at almost every turn.

Let the people who are trying to fix the issue, fix the issue.  Since upper management is often involved in large organizations with critical production issues because they have to report up to even more upper management, have a separate line where they can be given status updates without interfering.  Then designate someone (usually a project manager) to monitor both lines and keep everyone informed.

This makes a huge difference in getting problems resolved swiftly, while also allowing proper reporting of status to flow where and when needed.

posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 8:14 PM Print
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