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In a large company environment client projects are delegated to teams. That said, if your team is completing a website for a client and you happen to run across a large design and code issue but your team leader chooses to ignore it, how should you handle this? It would affect the whole team if it wasn't addressed so should you just document the issue or address the issue to someone higher up?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Like Scott's answer except for #1 point. Even though I think 'a large design and code issue' is somewhat subjective (large relative to what for example? does it touch client's custom code or is it flaw in 'core code-base'?) I would not touch it without clearance to do so. You might be 100% right, however you're in a treacherous territory with this. It can take very little to spoil the environment you're spending a lot of time in.

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  1. Fix the issue if possible
  2. Notify superior if you can't simply fix the issue (in writing if possible -email?)
  3. If superior chooses to ignore the issue, then you do as well
  4. If issue prevents other items from being completed, be certain to present each of those items to the superior as well. Explaining the underlying issue again. And again, in writing if possible.
  5. Don't go over anyone's head - you're just asking for trouble doing that.

Just my 2¢.
It's great to be proactive. But if a superior chooses to let things slide, then you need to just "CYA" by doing thing in writing. Ultimately it's your superior's job to choose what is and is not addressed. By going over people's heads you quickly create a work environment of distrust and competitiveness. That can quickly devolve into petty back-stabbing and retaliation in my experience.

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