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Grey zone August 20, 2009

Posted by Terry.Cho in Software Engineering.
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During reading some article in a blog. I found very interesting term “Grey zone”

I like this term and decide to use.
During IT project, “Grey zone” is occurred usually. It is “Everybody know that they have a problem. But it is not clear and ambiguous. Nobody try to solve the problem. Just ignore and leave them.” That is “Grey zone”. It commonly be a big problem at end of project. This problem is caused by ambiguous role definition and losing a context.

Customer wants to solve the problem but don’t know about that exactly. – “What is the problem? and Who has a responsibilities about the problem?”. If customer asks the problem to project team member. They don’t want to mention it or don’t provide exact information. They are afraid that can be a new task or burden for them. So they try to hide them.

To solve this “Grey zone” problem, consultant is very useful.

  • Consultant doesn’t have any responsibilities to solve the problem.
  • Politically Consultant is neutral.
  • Consultant has a fame or reputation from their title or their company. So their suggestion has more value than other stake-holder’s suggestion.

To solve the “Grey Zone”

  • Catch the problem and cause
  • Provide a few solutions
  • Let customer select the solution.

As a result, solving the problem is customer’s responsibility.  In my experience all of customer know that they have a problem but don’t know exactly what they have to do. The problem is hide behinds of many wall that made by project team and politicians. Role of consultant is that get rid of the wall and show naked problem to customer.

Absolutely during solving the problem many stakeholders try to defense them. We need some skills to overcome this.
My recommendation is “Data”,”Documentation”,”Presentation”.
Gathering data , make a document and present it in front of stakeholders and customer. Data is objective. Brilliant presentation helps you to convince the problem. Finally you can give a sword that can cut the problem to customer.

Do you agree on this?
I have worked as a fire-worker in many IT project. I usually did like this and it have worked very well. So i can get a reputation from customer and raise up my consulting value.