One Example Of Too Much Red Tape

Years ago, I worked as a project manager in a corporation. Working on IT projects, it was common to have difficulty weeding through the large organization to get the necessary assistance. During one application project, I was having issues connecting with the right resources to help me with some of my concerns and challenges. About this same time, the director of my project asked me how things were going. I was quite honest and told him of my challenges of finding the right resources and contacts to lend me a hand. His response was, if you ever have problems in the network or any of the application areas, I can make some telephone calls to assist. He went on to say that with his length of service, he had met so many valuable resources in many departments so he could assist as a liaison.

It was certainly flattering to hear his offer and I appreciated his willingness to assist but he clearly missed my point. Of course, I wanted to address my issues to avoid any delays in the project but what about all the red tape? This certainly was not the first time he had heard one of his direct reports share their frustration with the bureaucratic organization. Why nothing about the source of my frustration? I found it so hard get these questions answered or find the right people to assist across departments.

Is it not dangerous for a mature company to rely so much on length of service before they know who to call and maneuver through the red tape? If you are not a seasoned employee, you are at a severe disadvantage and will spend valuable time and energy networking in order to find the necessary help and support. In addition, if you work in a large company with medium to high turnover, chances are, many less seasoned employees will have similar struggles. Even if many in management are willing to assist in addressing the immediate issue or sympton, the source of the issue may remain causing this scenario to repeat itself again and again.