A common component of code rewrites is The Pause. No new development, just for a few months, so that developers can replace the existing code. After the rewrite, development will be so much faster! We will quickly come out ahead of where they would be without The Pause.
I have seen managers, directors, and even CTOs go to stakeholders and convince them to allow a pause. No matter what everyone agrees to, new development is rarely fully paused, the rewrite is never finished by the original date, and unforeseen events always occur.
Put aside the reality of why The Pause won’t work for a moment and examine the premise itself. The Pause is all about getting tech what it wants on the assumption that this will make things better for everyone in the long run. The Pause excludes all other departments. Basically, The Pause says:
Yes, in the past, we failed to understand and anticipate changes from the rest of the business. We made our life so difficult that we can’t keep making changes for you. But don’t worry your pretty little head, we are so much better at understanding you now!
We are going to go off by ourselves for a few months and create new technology that will handle and anticipate all of your future changes. We understand you so well, and our work is so difficult to explain, that we are going to do this work without you.
The Pause is an insulting fool’s errand. If the technology group were capable of anticipating future changes by themselves, they wouldn’t need a rewrite.
Instead of asking for The Pause, try a dialog with the rest of the organization. Bring them in instead of shutting them out.