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  1. #11
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    It's a website to offer pricewatch features on travel services, updated from various travel agencies. Persistent search and it's related services (like forums and travel guides) are the main features. I am still not allowed to put it online. Graphical templates and the editorial content are provided by the client, price info by various travel agencies and I'm to do the code that connects them all and makes it all work, relying heavily on database operations. Data import on purchasable items is done by a custom-built web extractor.

    There's been too many problems to start with. Most of the time, he didn't specify his wishes on features and the implementation at all, only bothering to comment on everything, how it should have been done differently. The adding of content and the changing of graphical templates mid-project (many times) brought changes in the features required, equally many times. He didn't give feedback on the progress in time, even tho he was perfectionistic, rigid and yet wavering in his opinions. I had to fight for every bit of reasonability I wanted to bring to the project management. After we had nailed down the key design decisions, he ordered content and graphics that was incompatible to the design principles we had set, requiring again to write much new code to make the system operable. And that's only the techincal issues. Don't even get me started on schedules and everything else.

    I foolishly gave in into greatly expanding list of features and his desire for backwards leading. He didn't point almost anything forward, but he just showed what was bad in the work done, justifying his views with dogmatic fanaticism: this is how it has to be done, of course! Different options didn't even occur to him. He didn't feel the need to communicate anything where he thought that there was only one way: his way. He just thought that if someone would not make the product to his (uncommunicated) expectations, it was done badly. I actually exploded to him about this leading style, and refused to do anything until he had made his mind about something (by then, I had done double work). He decided that he had read my emails and answered my calls as much as he wanted, which means that he must have done it perfectly, because that's as much as he bothered to do. The blame would then be on me.

    I also heard 2 months into the project that I had been the project leader the whole time, also responsible for managing his part of the project. In his opinion it was clear that it had always been so, despite having forced me to do things his way on the basis on HIS leadership position over me.
    Last edited by UnitOfPopulation; 10-04-2007 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #12
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    Welcome to the world of having an ESTJ boss

  3. #13
    Senior Member creativeRhino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    arrgh Santtu,

    you are in the clutches of a "scope creep" (the project situation and the personal control / torture freak behaviour). I have fought many battles with these people (and sometimes in the forms of committees of the horrors!). I used to get tied up in knots by them. The harder you try to get them to commit and clarify about what they want rather than just complain the worse it always seemed to get.

    I've struggled with this problem and worked out that there is only so much one can do when in the middle of it. What I did learn was to spot such characters more quickly so I could back away before I got caught in the trap.

    It is seldom really about the software/project is is often one of the few ways they can dominate/wield power. So the main thing is show no weakness - stare down their threats of not paying. They are not logical, they are not reasonable. Most of them are afraid to "own" what they have asked for in terms of end product in case it doesn't work out.

    I found sometimes using the logic/reasonable behaviour was an annoying weapon against them. (Doing a Spock!) If nothing else, they won't deal with you again in a hurry ....

    The best way to deter predators is to taste terrible.

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