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I work in a Services company with an IT division. We hired a new division director who right off the bat has asked the test leads why testing is reporting to developement and should it report to the QA manager? The truth of the matter is, the person that currently has the title of QA manager got their position by calling the Pres. of the company when they weren't going to be promoted beyond team lead. Most of us don't respect that person and wouldn't work for them.
My question is: How do you handle the "old" politics and dirty laundry with out sounding like your in middle school but getting your point across to the new director?

Mark's picture

Oh, hell... an easy question! :wink:

This is what we refer to as a delicate situation. There are many ways to go about it, and none can garner an ironclad recommendation because it's way too dependent on the subtleties I know are present but yet still defy a short (but good) note like yours.

First off, I think it's important to note that managers ought to, in general, give directors credit for figuring things out. Yes, there are exceptions, but usually they've earned the responsibilities with some savvy.

This means... they'll figure it out. You DON'T need to tell them. Or, with a more instructive emphasis, YOU don't need to tell them.

And, you don't need to TELL them... you can make an aside comment about someone else expressing some frustration with this person, as in, "I wonder how Joe over in testing might feel. I think there are issues there worth considering..." This is wonderfully oblique, as long as you don't then spill your guts when you are asked what you mean. The correct response there is, "I wouldn't want to overstate things. I think it's worth paying attention to."

Note, there is no YOU anywhere in those statements. When you start using "you", the recipient tends to hear things differently. Careful there.

Hope this helps.

Mark