Do you voluntarily develop long-term projects on the job?

Subject: Do you voluntarily develop long-term projects on the job?
From: "Eileen Neumann" <eileenn -at- the-wire -dot- com>
To: "techwhirl list" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2003 14:22:02 -0400

JP asks:
> I'd like to know how you approach working on side projects that
require long term development before introducing tem to your boss.<

(Catching up on my digests here...)
I'm all for initiative, and have been busy proposing various unrequested
projects myself, but wanted to offer this example of how this can go awry.

I'm currently in a situation where another employees' initiative is
impinging on my own work, and find it extremely irritating. I'm writing for
and more or less managing a fair-sized employee intranet. There are
definitely problems with the site, and I'm currently working on planning a
redesign for the coming year (my boss knows about this).

Because the Intranet has been limping along for a while, and employees must
use it to carry out job related procedures, other groups want improvement.
So another department, training, has decided they're going to insert
training modules at strategic places in the content on the site. They've
gone ahead an developed the modules, and I was informed the day of a project
launch that I should be inserting them (it's just a link...).

Now the modules are well designed, innovative and useful. But the Intranet
(my) group was not consulted or brought into this in any way. I'm busy
trying to develop usability studies, plans for navigation and organisation,
etc., and feel quite miffed that they have this huge plan that will be
foisted on me and go smack into the middle of my work. Maybe it's good,
maybe not, but I wanted to know about it before it was developed.

I'm sure John wouldn't do this. However, there's something to be said for
communicating what we're up to...

Eileen Neumann
Technical Writer

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