One of the most exasperating professional situations is dealing with the FUD machine.
The FUD machine is the following:
Team A has a proposal.
Team B disagrees and has an agenda to propose an alternative and the alternative is not ready yet.
Team B instead of arguing that the proposal of Team A is problematic focuses on narrow limitations.
Team A responds to narrow limitations.
Team B comes back with more limitations.
Time for Team A is lost and forward progress is lost.
Team B is then able to use the failure of Team A to move forward on their proposal, and argues that their new proposal is better and is able to take over the project.
Team B then basically does what team Team A was going to do.
The core of the FUD machine is that Team B wants to win the project and is trying to buy time and destroy Team A’s credibility to take over the project.
The good news is that I have rarely experienced this within a company. I have experienced this in competitive situations between vendors as a customer in the role of Team A.
So what do you do?
If you’re team Team A member, the first step is to realize the FUD machine is attacking.
The strategy to win is not to fight the FUD machine.
Focus your response on the business problem. Explain why your solution is better for the problem. And then – and this is important – explain why your solution does solve the problem and point out that their solution – as is – won’t meet the business requirements.