Driving Technical Change
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Your co-workers' resistance to new technologies can be baffling. Logical arguments can fail. If you don't do politics, you will fail. With Driving Technical Change, by Terrence Ryan, you'll learn to read users' "patterns of resistance"-and then dismantle their objections. Every developer must master the art of evangelizing. With these techniques and strategies, you'll help your organization adopt your solutions-without selling your soul to organizational politics.
Finding cool languages, tools, or development techniques is easy-new ones are popping up every day. Convincing co-workers to adopt them is the hard part. The problem is political, and in political fights, logic doesn't win for logic's sake. Hard evidence of a superior solution is not enough. But that reality can be tough for programmers to overcome.
In Driving Technical Change: Why People On Your Team Don't Act on Good Ideas, and How to Convince Them They Should, Adobe software evangelist Terrence Ryan breaks down the patterns and types of resistance technologists face in many organizations.
You'll get a rich understanding of what blocks users from accepting your solutions. From that, you'll get techniques for dismantling their objections-without becoming some kind of technocratic Machiavelli.
In Part I, Ryan clearly defines the problem. Then in Part II, he presents "resistance patterns"-there's a pattern for each type of person resisting your technology, from The Uninformed to The Herd, The Cynic, The Burned, The Time Crunched, The Boss, and The Irrational. In Part III, Ryan shares his battle-tested techniques for overcoming users' objections. These build on expertise, communication, compromise, trust, publicity, and similar factors. In Part IV, Ryan reveals strategies that put it all together-the patterns of resistance and the techniques for winning buy-in. This is the art of organizational politics.
In the end, change is a two-way street: In order to get your co-workers to stretch their technical skills, you'll have to stretch your soft skills. This book will help you make that stretch without compromising your resistance to playing politics. You can overcome resistance-however illogical-in a logical way.
Crunched, and doing it on time beats doing it right. I did programming work for the local office of a national political campaign once. They needed a basic database CRUD application. I started 24 days before Election Day. The day after Election Day, the application was worthless. Any work that went into maintainability or extensibility was worthless. Trying to sell those types of features would have been a waste of time. The trick here is to figure out whether the Time Crunched thinking is coming
chapter, I recommend open sourcing software you’re having trouble getting internal acceptance for. Depending on your industry and employer, though, you might need to secure their permission before doing so. Many employers have rules about the intellectual property that employees create during business hours. However, don’t let this discourage you from asking. I’ve worked at both a major research institute and a large software company. Both are stereotypically big protectors of intellectual
certain tactics worked better on some than others. I started reusing the same tactics on the same skeptics for different issues. My batting average went up. It became easier to sell advancements. That’s what this book is about—those advancements, those patterns, those arguments. My hope is that what I have to say can allow you to skip all of the go-nowhere arguments, avoid the frustration, and actually drive your organization forward technologically. 1.1 How Is This Book Organized This book is a
P EOPLE IN Y OUR N EIGHBORHOOD ? These are supposed to be illustrative. What’s key here is the type of behavior, not the magnitude. Most people are professional enough to not be like the over-the-top examples listed here. Also, don’t get caught up in the details of whether someone is being a Cynic or Burned. People can be more than one type of skeptic at the same time. They usually are. For instance, the Boss and the Time Crunched often coexist. Cynics about one technology are often Burned on
them. An ongoing leadership or mentoring relationship has higher costs than the initial conversion. I’m not discouraging that relationship, just pointing out that it doesn’t come free. Also, if you can pick up some younger team members who can become leaders and add them to your cause, the investment is well worth it. Download from www.eBookTM.com Report erratum Download from Wow! eBook