The Case Against Information Hoarding (25 of 30)

More of a PSA then anything to let people know that information hoarding will not save your job, only cause contempt and ultimately cost you much more than you could ever gain. Let’s take two individuals of equal knowledge and work ethic working side by side, and let’s call them Bob (the information hoarder) and Bill (the opposite of Bob.)

Bob spends his days in his virtual silo, working on projects with great great success, and does what he needs to get the job done. Everyone is happy with his output, but on all of his projects he becomes the only “expert” on the subject, and never seems to find time to provide proper documentation, and if he does, you get the pdf, not the visio of the diagram. Bob always makes it well known every time there is an issue with one of the many areas he knows about, that he is in fact “the only one who knows about that environment.”

Bill conversely does not get assigned as many projects, but being just as senior as Bob he spends a lot of his time mentoring, updating documentation, reverse engineering Bob’s work and overall working with everyone else in the team. There is nothing that Bill can’t do that Bob can, but his time is better spent elsewhere.

Now judgement day comes, who are you going to keep around? Bill who is helping out the team, or Bob, who is a rock-star of getting projects, but is in a silo. Naturally there are many variables to consider, political, pay, etc.. but think my point is, it’s not going to save your job that you are the only one who knows area X. No one is irreplaceable, and the best way I have heard it put is, “stick your hand in a bucket of water (your job,) when you remove it, how long does it take to replace your space?” Also at the end of the day people just want to have a pleasant work environment, so if you .

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