The Urgent Crisis of the Moment has shown up in your inbox in the form of a bug that is going to destroy the company if we don’t get it fixed today.
At the moment, there is a surge in pressure to resolve the issue now because it is “hurting” things – maybe not you, but someone else who is dependent upon it.
In these moments, there are two things to be done;
- Alleviating the hurt now.
- Make sure what you did doesn’t hinder things going forward.
Alleviating the hurt now is a pretty straightforward proposition – triage the issue – does it need to be fixed, are we fixing the right thing, is this a configuration issue, etc, etc.
The second step is the one that we often forget and this is where we need to take a step back to look a the problem from a different angle.
Did we fix the issue or just hack a patch?
Is this a symptom of a bigger problem?
Are we missing anything?
How does this affect other areas of our work?
Taking a step back is always challenged by the resistance of “we don’t have time to do that, we just need to get that done” until it happens again and again and again as barrel forward to fix something.
Developers and Team Leads who take a step back, even when the moment is on fire, will always come up with a better solution, because they aren’t responding to the “immediate “but the “how come” of the problem and devising a solution from there.