Yes definitely recommend doing this, especially when it comes to business domain knowledge. What for, depending on the quality of documentation, existence of wikis, unit and acceptance test coverage etc. As someone who often has to keep one eye on commercial aspects of project, it is often in the back of my mind that labouring on when the knowledge exists in house, is a waste of client time and money. That said, like everything else, it’s a matter of balance. If someone is constantly asking for help, or is seemingly unable to learn, your team and organisational performance is impacted. Fortunately, that is quite rare.
What I have been surprised by, is sometimes some organisations, or more accurately, individuals within those organisations, see reaching out to others as a failure of skill, even though more often than not, it’s actually more likely to be the business domain than anything technical. They see conversations as a waste of time, yes don’t provide adequate acceptance criteria or documentation. Then they criticise folk for not having the business knowledge, that is specific to their business. This is impossible when you first start especially, since it is their business not yours.
It is part of good teamwork and a good culture that:
- People should not be admonished for not knowing something.
- People should attempt to be approachable.
- Managers of those people should encourage collaboration as much as possible
- Organisation should aim to go to a culture of both offering help and asking for it. Otherwise they risk wasting money and time.