Here's a quick message to the professional 'specialists' that I (and a lot of other people, I'm sure) have to work with.
Your piece of the pie isn't the only one we have to worry about.
While it warms my heart that you are such a subject matter expert that you can worry about details and dedicating your entire support to one aspect of projects, the rest of us have to juggle a wider range of requirements. While you focus on that one project, I have to two or three other major ones going on at the exact same time. Therefore, you cannot expect me to devote all of my time and attention (and the time and attention of the people who work for and with me) to your project. It would help if you would listen when we explain to you what else is going on. It would help if you explain EXACTLY what you need, so that we can plan ahead. (And if you're primarily a planner by job description, then you should DEFINITELY understand. Let those of us who execute figure out HOW to make your plan work. Don't shut us down when we make suggestions that will make it easier to do and save time and resources.) No, you can't have us at your beck and call for three weeks, but we'll be more than happy to help you out if you'll just tell us the exact nature of your requirements and let us work with you. People react better to working WITH instead of FOR.
- Explain the situation and ASK for support. Don't TELL us we're going to execute as planned no matter the situation.
- Accept that just because there are other people in your field in your work environment, it doesn't mean they work for you. It doesn't even mean that they even work with you.
- LISTEN when people try to get more details so that they can figure out how to help you. Don't assume they're just trying to say no without getting more details.