Reflecting on WOPR23

This guest post is from Piers Chamberlain

Wherever we work as performance professionals, there is always a temptation to fall for the most primitive tribal model of “Us vs Them”.

In my current position the “Us” is my immediate team of about 10 people, where levels of trust are high. The “Them” is any development architecture or operational team requesting work from “Us”. Within the test consultancy space, often the starting point in any relationship between a supplier (the “Us” organisation) and a client (the “Them” organisation) is via a contract or equivalent work definition document. It outlines not only what the intended outcomes are, but who to seek assistance and direction from.

While having documented escalation points written into a contract are well and good, the actual channels are usually much more complex – they are multi-layered, and nuanced. Getting traction for your objectives depends greatly upon one’s level of credibility. Often the people you need help from are discovered during or even after the project and there is often political circumstance which requires diplomacy or reluctance which requires pressure or persuasion to alleviate.

Experiences shared by the group at WOPR23 included great examples of where pro-active communication (seeking buy-in) and re-active communication (seeking to repair / resolve) were utilised.

My key takeaway on this the escalation theme was to note my sub-conscious work habits. To counter my naturally introverted approach I resolve to be more active in my relationships and that way, allow for better information flow.

Piers Chamberlain, Automation Team Lead (QA Engineering) at Xero

This is one of a series of posts reflecting on attendees’ experiences at WOPR23. The attendees at WOPR23 were Kelly AdamsEmily ApseyPiers ChamberlainDan DowningAndreas GrabnerPaula Henderson, David Holt, Pam HoltPriya KomanduriEric ProeglerRaymond RivestScott H. SnyderNeil TaittMais Tawfik Ashkar, and Mark Tomlinson.

Updated: October 22, 2014 — 6:52 am

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