How many times does your department suffer from a support department process failure? It is easy to sit afar – and point in his or her general direction. Yet – at some point – your department is that – yours… the lack of process completion in your department still needs to be addressed. The root cause may not be your area but since you are indirectly (or directly) impacted there should be some concern.
My theory is that anomalies happen. That means, chasing every loose end may end up wasting more time
than it is worth. Give the department manager credit when it is due. He/She most likely are digging in the trenches or putting actions into place when a failure happens. However, I tend to shoot a quick note to the department manager and a) make sure they are aware of the impacts, b) see if they need any help, and c) just get a comfort level that things are being looked at. This is not a finger pointing session or a time to air dirty laundry. Simply put – we are all trying to achieve the same end result (and if we are not – there are more issues than a blog will resolve).
At some point when things become repeatable or several anomalies result in your department failing – it is time to step up to the plate. At this point, I would make a phone call and see what is going on. Schedule a meeting; and conduct the needed problem solving event(s). Simply accepting the issue is settling. Silent leadership models would indicate but doing nothing, we are actually doing something… non verbally it is the same as “it’s ok.” Approach the situation open minded, offer your assistance and communicate a team minded sense of urgency.
This will require a judgement call, but it is not acceptable for your team to not perform and as a manager we are charged with the responsibility to remove obstacles preventing success.