SPONSORS:






User Tag List

Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Points for Confirmed Friends
    Guest

    Knowledge Hoarding

    Recently I wrote a paper which I circulated to a number of colleagues for comment. The main person from whom I was expecting feedback - colleague A (based on her previous utterances I considered her the company expert on the topic) declined to do so saying - that her comments had already been covered by others.

    More recently we were both ask to review a load test plan by another colleague B. I sent my review comments to both colleague A and B. Having not seen anything from colleague A for a few days, I asked her about her comments on the plan (once again - she is the site acknowledged expert on the topic). I was quite suprised to hear her say that she wasn't going to circulate them because she had already discussed her comments over the phone with colleague B.

    Colleague A also happens to be my senior and so I am very dissapointed with her attitude but don't plan to worry about it unduly unless I have to work with her.

    Comments?!

    ------------------
    Software Testing FAQ http://www.cigital.com/c.s.t.faq.html

  2. #2
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    St. Louis - Year 2025
    Posts
    15,609
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    Suggest that you value her direct input since she is the acknowledged local expert and, that you would rather get direct input from her so that nothing can be taken out of context or miscontrued in any way. You might ask that she individually go over the comments-by-others and point out the ones that she subscribes to and see if she can elaborate further. If this stills seems to be a wall, suggest that you know she is very busy and ask if a working lunch would be in order.

    ------------------
    JP

    [This message has been edited by jpensyl (edited 01-14-2002).]

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,621
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    I have to admit to being a little skeptical as to why she won't give you any feedback. Let's just say that I've proposed ideas that later turned up again to the executive with someone elseís name as the author. There is not sense is someone reading an article or proposal if they refuse to give feedback - even though they are discussing it with others without you. It just doesn't ring true to me.

    I'd suggest that you follow Jim's advice as above. However, I'd also forward it to more people and solicit advice. Once it's out to more people, mention it to your manager. She may change her tune when she realizes how serious you are about receiving feedback.

    Please take what Iíve said with a grain of salt Ė Iím a little jaded on this particular topic so I may be more pessimistic than most.


    ------------------

  4. #4
    Points for Confirmed Friends
    Guest

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    Part A sounds good, a bit more persistence. Thanks, will employ in future.

    The title of the thread gives away some prejudgement on my part in this matter and it is not without some foundation. She is not busy at least not with company work - we are both between projects!


    ------------------
    Software Testing FAQ http://www.cigital.com/c.s.t.faq.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Chicago,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    2,537
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wooks:
    Recently I wrote a paper which I circulated to a number of colleagues for comment. The main person from whom I was expecting feedback - colleague A (based on her previous utterances I considered her the company expert on the topic) declined to do so saying - that her comments had already been covered by others.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Speaking to this issue in particular, you say that "I considered her the company expert on this topic." But is she, in fact, the company expert on this particular topic? (I am not sure if the content of the papers in both of your scenarios is the same.) In any event, perhaps the only comments she had were, in fact, covered by others. Sometimes that happens, particularly if the person is not any more or less expert than others who are commenting.

    So I guess my question is, starting from the initial points: why do you doubt her claim that her points already were covered?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>More recently we were both ask to review a load test plan by another colleague B. I sent my review comments to both colleague A and B. Having not seen anything from colleague A for a few days, I asked her about her comments on the plan (once again - she is the site acknowledged expert on the topic).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In this case she is the "site acknowledged expert on the topic" (as opposed to being an expert in your personal consideration in the first scenario, so with that in mind...

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>I was quite suprised to hear her say that she wasn't going to circulate them because she had already discussed her comments over the phone with colleague B.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It could have been that her comments were quite directed and perhaps of a somewhat negative nature (even if in constructive fashion) and would rather not state them so as not to impunge the work of colleague B. It could also simply be that she feels that such comments are meant solely for the person who asked for single review (as opposed to combined review) with both people in the same room. I tend to only send comments to the person who asked for review unless it is clear that comments should be submitted to others so all can participate in a discussion.

    Were you both asked to comment on this paper in an e-mail? In other words, did colleague A and you receive an e-mail from colleague B that said to both of you: "Please review and give me comments"? Or were you told to review this in a meeting and then send comments via e-mail? Sometimes how you were asked can be a general guide as to how to respond. For example, colleague B might have said: "Hey, I need you all to review this and then let us get a discussion going of your comments." I am also not sure how formal of a review this was. I am also not sure if it is standard operating procedure to distribute comments on documents where you work, particularly if the review is informal or more of an off-the-cuff review.

    Perhaps colleague A's personal philosophy is to share only with the writer of the document unless specifically directed to do otherwise.

    I am not making excuses for the person's actions because there is a lot of context that could be behind these actions. Given the two instances you sited, it is, at least, the beginnings of a pattern of behavior (towards you, at least) but two instances (in different contexts) do not, in actual fact, make a pattern. So it is hard to comment to specifically on this.

    ------------------

  6. #6
    Points for Confirmed Friends
    Guest

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    I don't quite follow you Dig.

    The first paper was authored by myself and circularised to several colleagues. 3 responded very constructively and circularised their comments - hence she was able to read them. After incorporating several of the comments I recircularised ( whereupon I ran into the law of diminishing returns - which is when I specifically asked her for her comments). It was based on an approach I had formulated while working on my own at a clients site and was completely original (and plenty unorthodox too).

    The second case was a plan written by an external company that we were both asked to review. I just considered that the normal thing to do would be for everyone to circularise their comments to everyone else.

    ------------------
    Software Testing FAQ http://www.cigital.com/c.s.t.faq.html

  7. #7
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    794
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    Wooks,
    Do you have an approved procedure for such review?
    You definitely need it.
    Yury
    Testing, Performance Testing, Performance Engineering

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    wooks:

    Given your most recent response, you might try something along the lines of what JP suggested. I'd try to make it clear the next time someone solicits comments that you would like to know what's expected. Make sure you're on the same page as everyone else for comments and feedback forum or what have you. In the first scenario you mentioned, it may have been a case of not having the time to comment, and truly believing that everyone else had it covered, but when paired with the second situation, it doesn't seem as likely.

    Or tell "Person A" directly that you consider her an expert in the topic at hand, and believe you could gain a lot from her own comments, both in learning or in offering your differing opinions from her own. In some cases, our peers don't rationalize that we believe we can learn from the things they have to share, so they don't attempt to share them as much with the group, thinking, perhaps, that no one would be interested.

    Just a few more thoughts.



    ------------------
    "They were painters and they were painting themselves a lovely world.."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Chicago,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    2,537
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    Not Digits but I will respond to these points since they somewhat answer my own questions.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wooks:
    The first paper was authored by myself and circularised to several colleagues. 3 responded very constructively and circularised their comments - hence she was able to read them. After incorporating several of the comments I recircularised ( whereupon I ran into the law of diminishing returns - which is when I specifically asked her for her comments).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Okay, that is a little more detail then we were initially given particularly since now there were two circulations. The first post did not make that clear. In any event, if she could offer nothing new beyond the comments already made, what would you have her say?

    Beyond that, perhaps she was simply not interested in your approach, regardless of how original or unorthodox. In any event, it would probably make sense to simply ask her. Or say something like: "I am kind of surprised you did not have more to say on this. I thought my ideas were a little unorthodox."

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>The second case was a plan written by an external company that we were both asked to review. I just considered that the normal thing to do would be for everyone to circularise their comments to everyone else.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The addition here of an external company is somewhat of a crucial detail not given in the intial information. As far as the "normal thing" to do, I agree with you, in the case as you added details: it probably would make sense to share details. Again, it depends on the situation. And it depends on what the "normal thing" to do is. What is normal for you may not be normal for her, particularly if there was no direction one way or the other. Besides it sounds like you did things via e-mail (comments written down, at any rate) and she chose the phone. In that case, she might not want to take up the time to write up all her phone comments, particularly if there were many of them.

    If you feel strongly about it, suggest that meetings should be done to discuss documents like this or perhaps insist that initial comments should be written in some fashion and distributed.

    ------------------

  10. #10
    Points for Confirmed Friends
    Guest

    Re: Knowledge Hoarding

    Jeff,

    It's not so much that I doubt her, but more reasons why I felt she in particular should have responded She was between projects with no official assignment while all those who responded were busy at clients sites (yet found time to respond). She was also a senior person (who had technically interviewed me with reference to this particular area).

    The situation with colleague B is better explained thus. Colleague B is a non-technical managerial type who upon receiving this test plan written by a third party company happily plead ignorance and requested our help to review the document. Our job was to help her make us look good in front of the client and we were both asked to comment in an email. Fair enough it could be said that with the benefit of JP's advice I could have gone to her to discuss the document personally prior to responding (I had nothing better to do so responded immediately). I never for one moment thought there would be an issue with her giving a written response and me ever getting to see it (I have not enquired on progress with colleague B - maybe I should).

    This will sound childish but I think there is an element of resentment in her behaviour. From a peer I might be inclined to a more benign view (especially regarding her interest or lack of in my paper) but she is my senior and I expect more.


    ------------------
    Software Testing FAQ http://www.cigital.com/c.s.t.faq.html

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.36 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 11.54%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.4 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.2.8 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBNominate (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Username Changing provided by Username Change (Free) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
BetaSoft Inc.
Digital Point modules: Sphinx-based search
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:02 PM.

Copyright BetaSoft Inc.