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BLOG: It's on -- cool heads meet fiery tempers in an IT turf war

Infoworld | Nov. 14, 2013
A bank's new IT team keeps calm and carries on against in-house challenges by more than one enraged party

That security manager scheduled a meeting with both my manager and me to discuss the "charter" of our team. He demanded to know what we did -- in detail. My boss started explaining our job, the security manager interrupting occasionally and quivering with anger. When my boss stated that our duties included security, namely user ID management and setting access rights on the computers, the security manager flew into a rage.

He stood up, pounded his fist on the desk, and bellowed, "No! I am in charge of all security at the bank!!!"

I was stunned into silence. My boss was a very sharp fellow and remained completely unruffled. He kept his cool and calmly replied, "It's obvious to me that we are not going to agree on this issue. I will report this meeting to my manager, and I suggest you do the same. If there is a conflict between the charters of our departments, then our managers need to work it out."

My boss told his manager. I did not find out how she dealt with the issue, but our charter did not change, and we never heard anything more about it from the other security manager -- although he was prickly whenever we happened to meet.

This situation could have easily morphed into an unproductive shouting match but didn't, thanks to my boss. Watching it unfold, I vowed to always keep calm in business meetings. It will pay off in the long run -- and it has.



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