Multiple promotions for solving the same problem

One failure mode I’ve seen in software organizations is multiple promotions for building the same solution to a problem. Suppose, in your software organization you have 10 teams working in a similar problem space. In one year you see two promotions for building an asset management pipeline. When I saw the second promotion announcement, I was thinking to myself “Wait, didn’t Tyler get promoted for building an asset management pipeline?”

Any Vice-President who’s organization has this issue should be thinking hard about where it went wrong. That engineering culture is completely broken and can only be fixed by rooting out the leadership and then replacing senior engineers. 

Why is this such a big deal? Because its a symptom of several serious problems in your organization.

No information sharing between teams

One team built a solution to this problem in Q1, 6 months later another team built another solution to that problem. Why couldn’t they have shared asset management pipelines? If its a valuable thing to have why did one team go 6 months without an asset management pipeline?

Promotions are being gamed

Two people being promoted for building similar solutions to the same problem is a sign that your promotion process is being gamed. Redundant projects being lauded as keystone accomplishments is ridiculous. The manager of the 2nd team should have at least caught that this project was already a keystone. 

Important shared infrastructure is being ignored

If two teams are building the same infrastructure to solve similar problems it should be a shared service. Otherwise, you are paying to build twice and to support the system twice. This is software we should be able to shard this or multi-purpose the pipeline.

In this particular organization, the root issue is that the asset management system is horrible. Because the quality of that system is bad you have dozens of teams working around pain points with hacks. The solution is not to build asset management pipelines, the solution is to recognize how important this asset management system is and invest in it appropriately. 

Every asset management pipeline this organization built was a waste of effort that should have been invested at a higher level. 

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