Value of Time

Our project has a requirements analysis team. Everyone on that team is new. So they don’t really have any domain knowledge. That’s a bad position to be in when you are supposed to work with the customer to figure out what changes they need to the system. I have been working on this system for a very long time. Once they found this out, the requirements team started needing a lot of my time. They schedule a lot of conference calls. In order to get my work done, I decided to just skip these calls.

The requirements team figured out that I was no longer dialing in to their conference calls. They are smart. They started asking me questions about the system as it pertains to some new requirements. That is fine as it does not disrupt my schedule too much. The problem is that they are unable to fully comprehend the answers I give them no matter how hard I try. Later they try to discuss the issues with the customer. Due to the lack of full understanding, I end up getting called in again.

I am not exactly sure how to deal with all of this. Everybody is new on the project at one time or another. But you only get to use the new card for the first couple months. After half a year, you really don’t have much of an excuse if you cannot do your job. I don’t like doing other people’s jobs for them. I have my own duties. And I expect everybody else on the team to pull their own weight. Otherwise why does the team need you?
In the past, I have dealt with people on the requirements team that lacked the domain knowledge to do their jobs. This was a typical problem. I guess I got a bit spoiled when the last team of requirements analysts was actually pretty good. They did not know everything about the system. However they were able to figure things out themselves. They also did not pretend to know a lot. That attitude went a long way to good relations with the development team. Now that they have left the project, it feels like we have to start all over again with the team.

I think I can fully appreciate a comment made by one the gurus in the customer organization. Some of our key developers left the project for greener pastures. The customer was disappointed in that he had finally got some developers up to speed. And then they left.