My Secret Life as a Spaghetti Coder
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Everyone will run into "that guy" on a project at some point in their lifetime. He complains about everything, and he's actively trying to subvert it at any given time. It seems like he had an agreement with another vendor to take a kickback, but they didn't win the bid so he's stuck with you until he can prove your incompetence to the other stakeholders in his organization.

At every turn, he's complaining about something. He's "spent hours on the phone" with you about a problem, but you know you've only talked to him once for 5 minutes to get a password outside the normal meetings. The normal meetings resulted in changing requirements and specifications as time went on, and he never spoke up until that part of the product was complete. Now he says you're useless and can't follow directions: he wants the original widget design back.

He's not the only stakeholder, but he's the stakeholder for certain parts of the project. Maybe his mini-projects are just there to grease the wheels and facilitate other parts of the whole. Maybe it's a key part of the end product.

There's an effective way to deal with bitchy subversives when you're at the meeting with everyone from each side of each organization and "that guy" is making insane requests and ridiculous accusations. Simply pose an open question for everyone to answer: what about that piece is holding the rest of the project back?

Trying to answer that question will reveal that there's nothing technical that's holding it back. The only thing holding back the project is that guy's whining.

Then you can move forward.

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Great idea! I'll try to use it next time if happens.

Posted by Kevin Guerra on Jun 30, 2016 at 04:41 PM UTC - 5 hrs

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