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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Administrative Buck Passing?

In a post many months ago, i mentioned how much i loved the movie Ikiru.

In one of the main scenes of the movie,  a simple request by city folks for a children park got the typical push-around, from engineering to health to parks to administration to public affairs. and back to the engineering folks. Just passing the buck to the other team(s) while maintaining a posture of no-work!

Upon reflecting on the movie (within my head). I find that this bureaucratic way of work avoidance somewhat familiar.

Just yesterday, along the hallway, i heard a conversation that went like this:

A: "I got a issue with this. My car's steering wheel isn't responding reliably, and i'm not able to get it fixed with the car manufacturer."

B: "Why can't you get it fixed?"

A: "I was initially told that that the responding behavior is by design, not an issue. After i was delayed in my trip to the airport, they eventually decided that i need to create a bug report for it, and the issue got handed to another team."

B: "The second team fixed the issue?"

A: "No! The second team decided that this is actually a new feature request. Here's their statement: Having a steering wheel that responds in a timely manner is something that the drivers shouldn't expect to experience. Now since you want to PIMP your steering wheel, you have to document what and how you actually want the steering wheel to behave."

B: "So after you document down your needs, the team fixed the issue?"

A: "After tons of calls and design charting sessions, the second team handed over the documents and the original issue to another team; the third team! The best thing about this team is that they spent hours trying to convince me that the changes i wanted in the steering wheel isn't what i really wanted, and that it's unnecessary anyway, and btw... they need another two more mechanics because they have more work to do now (reading my documents and convincing me that they are not good requests). Thus... a big expense item on the final bill."

B: "Then what happened next?"

A: "The third team eventually came back to me and tell me that the behavior is unexpected and it is indeed an issue, and that the first team are the best folks to fix it, but you'll need to schedule another series of meetings with them."

B: "You're surely joking right?"

A: "No.. now i have to start from the beginning again. I'm also given a customer requirements program manager that will assist me in this. I've no idea when my steering wheel will be fixed, and by which team!"

Coming back to the Ikiru movie, i just hope that A doesn't need to get cancer before he can get changes (somewhat temporal) made!

With the current re-releasing of the Criterion series of Akira Kurosawa DVDs, perhaps it's time for me to watch it again.

posted by Jonathan at 8:49 AM | Permalink |


At 9:39 PM, Blogger Biby Cletus

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, i like the way you present things, keep up the good work, will be back.

Expect more from you...

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus :-

You might enjoy reading this blog :- Ikiru Movie Review