Were you hired to fix the Problem or Perform a Function?

Are you being hired to find the problem and fix it or are you being hired to do a task that might help fix the problem?

How many times have you asked what the problem is that is trying to be solved and what you are being asked to do directly to resolve it?

Not an easy question to answer?

“We’re growing the team and have some stuff to do.”

“The next release is late and we need more help.”

“I’m replacing my headcount.”

These aren’t problems to be solved, these are functions to be filled.

Everyone can fill a function, be the one that asks about the problem, demonstrates your interest and commitment and makes you the one they don’t WANT to hire but NEED to.

The Best Time to Change the Delivery Date

When you’ve been unclear on when the delivery date is?

When everyone is working day and night to finish the task but is so far off?

When you haven’t been asking for updates and assume it’s going to be done when you were hoping it would be done?

When there are two weeks left and QA has not started?

The answer:

None of these times, it should have been done months ago, when you were asking these questions, getting clarity, making sure people weren’t burning out, asking for where problems are and ensuring each group has time to complete their tasks.

That’s when you should change the Delivery Date.

When to Give Feedback

Not before – nothing has happened.

Not during – it’s happening and they are in a groove.

Not a few weeks after – it’s too late, the moment is gone, you’ve all moved on.

It’s in the sweet spot that can’t be quantified between completing the event and giving a short amount of time for emotions, intelligence, stress, frustration, everything to dissipate.

Where both parties are ready to listen to what is being given and discuss what should happen next time.

It’s different for everyone, in every situation.

That’s the hard part about being a leader, one size doesn’t fit all.

Feeling a Little left Behind?

Okay.

So what are you going to do about it?

Sit and read that umpteenth news article that is only going to put yourself further behind?

Or take the fifteen minutes to come up with a plan to go from being behind, to getting ahead.

PS: You’re not behind, you only think you are, what you are feeling is that “meh” emotion of stagnant and boredom crashing down on you – that’s what’s making you feel like you’re behind.

PPS: Stop Reading and start doing.

Our own Level of Importance

What I deem important and what you deem important are two very different things.

We can be on the same project, in the same sprint, working the same problem but have very different ideas of what is important, what is not and what should be done next.

There are diatribes written about how you should configure importance, severity, value, etc, etc that go at length to define it, to get us all thinking the same way to solve the problem and prioritize it.

But in the end, it’s that we all have our own Internal variables, background, and worldview that define importance that makes for the most interesting discussions and product decisions.

We don’t need to do it all the same way, what we need to do is respect all the ways and come together in our decision.