The Illusion of Transparency

Speak up, because no one else knows everything you know.

Many of the concerns of a Product Support team overlap with the concerns of other teams and it’s common for Sales or Development or Marketing to propose changes that affect Support work. When this happens, the responsibility of Support isn’t to automatically agree and accommodate the proposal regardless of the cost - it’s to make the cost clear so that the decision can be made with full information.

If Sales asks you whether Support Engineers can start joining weekly calls with prospective customers to provide technical expertise, and you know that this is possible but will delay an ongoing Knowledge Base refresh, your job isn’t to say yes - it’s to say, “We could do that, but it would delay the Knowledge Base refresh,” so that it can be determined which is more valuable.

The illusion of transparency makes us think that our priorities and our stress levels are far more apparent than they really are. So when someone makes a decision that affects you or your workload, it’s easy to assume they’ve done the math and judged any trade-offs to be worthwhile. But nobody besides you knows what it’s like to do your job all day every day with your particular tools and constraints. Any math they’ve done is incomplete without your input.