Resistance. I’ve seen this over too many years and too many organizations.
People nod their heads and go “Yes – planning is a great idea! We should have a strategy! This will help us make better decisions! We can save money! (etc)”
And then they do everything they can to prevent it from happening.
- Lack of “flexibility” – they can’t just up and do what they want once there is a plan in place. Not that this was ever true, but before they could feign ignorance if things don’t work out.
- The need to start saying “no” and set boundaries – a perceived political handicap for those whose entire career success is based on making people (especially higher-ups) “feel good”.
- The fear of uncovering something they don’t want uncovered – ANY of these planning / organization / architecture projects run the risk of uncovering some skeletons.
- Processes not “working” the way they are supposed to (and the resulting “surprise”)
- People using the lack of transparency to serve their own purposes
- The assumption that “knowledge is power” without understanding that knowledge is more powerful when shared.
- Even worse – when you are doing this within a culture that often actively punishes sharing. Even if the touted “values” state otherwise.
- The activities of planning don’t look like actual work.
- Or worse, too many instances of planning being done in replacement of actual work. This happens enough times and any organization is going to get a bit cynical.
- Prevention isn’t nearly as glamorous-looking as fire-fighting
- People love rescuers. It just sucks when the problem could have been prevented in the first place.
- It’s hard to prove your worth by showing what DIDN’T happen and preventing problems. It’s much easier to show the problems (that manifested) that you DID solve. Irregardless of whether it was a self-created or preventable problem.
As expected, as soon as real activity towards an architecture started happening, we started seeing resistance.
Right now, the only mitigation strategy I have is to couch my activities in terms of “personal organization.” Small scale, low profile, low resource need. As long as I don’t neglect my current primary responsibilities and don’t ask for much, I should be OK.
Worst case scenario – I’ve learned something as a result of these efforts and have made some valuable changes to my portfolio that I can leverage in the future.