Are these internal projects, or are the projects of the parent company to which you've managed to get "included"?
I'd consider all projects as products -- i.e. anything we develop we sell. And the particular project which I just had removed from my task list was one I had started doing at home, on my own time because I was sick of non-action with regard to problems with the existing product (parts were VERY expensive and very long lead times)... So I decided to do it on my own and brought it to a working prototype before I decided to show anyone at work. (Remember the company I work for I like so doing a bit of design a few weekends in a row without getting paid isn't a big deal).
The company I work for loved it because I created it out of a direct need... The original design we had was bad on several fronts and this solved it without costing us an arm and a leg and it used no parts we weren't already procuring. The parent company was indifferent about what I'd made until about two months ago, when suddenly it was a great idea and put it on my list of things to do when on company time. Hell they even wanted a few more features which was great news.
Today I wrote an email asking whether to continue to research a specific part or if I should use the less optimal but cheaper part I had originally designed in back when it was a personal project. The response came in a single sentence:
Stop all work on this, Mr. X has written a hardware requirement spec and is proceeding with the design.
Great, huh? I stared at the email for a good three minutes and wondered if that sizzling noise was my brain bubbling with anger and disbelief or if I'd just grabbed the wrong end of the soldering iron. I decided to go on a nice long drive for lunch to try and figure it out but all it did was cost me a few dollars in gas.
This was only the most recent rau. There have been about three other projects which went almost exactly how I described this, a couple more which were just concepts which were scorned until it was suddenly someone at the parent company's idea and there are countless ideas which were shot down without an explanation (even if asked). Most ideas for design (or ideas to enhance a design) are discounted and then, months later (when it would require a redesign to implement cleanly) are asked for and are, of course, "top priority."
It seems like it's big office politics coming in to a small (150-person including sales and manufacturing) company.
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