Monday, December 19, 2011

Why ? So what ?

Ever changing world urges you to take action, but if you don't take care about asking why you do what you do, you'll take action for someone else.

Maybe altruism will say that it is OK to dedicate your soul to some cause or someone else. That is pure laziness.

You can't help people by keeping them dependant on you.
You must learn them to be confident enough to take care of themselves.
To learn confidence you have master it first.
To master confidence you have to have to know exactly why you do what you do, that's not about me, not about we, but about you.
And when you know the why don't forget to ask the other question : So what ?

You don't become what you want by doing what you always did, so what is your next step ?

"Why ?" makes it clear what you need to stop. (we call it pruning in software)
Move from the action to the reason.
"So what ?" makes it clear what you need to start.
Move from the reason to the action.
Keep both questions in mind.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Local Optimization, Global Optimization

Does choosing better cooking ingredients will make a better dish ?
Does applying better practices for database design, UI design, web service design will make a better software ?
Does following a better accounting, better stock management, better legal contracts will make a better company ?

In other words, does the sum of local optimizations is equal to higher global optimization ?

No, it doesn't.

Maybe two cooking ingredients of mediocre quality mixed together have a better taste than two top quality one. (My grandma known very well how to transform bad food in delicious dish :) )
Maybe having less layer in you software will make you more responsive to your customer.
Maybe having less formalization will make your customers less shy and threatened, and give you more time to take care of them.
Maybe having less customer can help your company.

Global optimization is about achieving the goal of your dish/software/company, local optimization is about achieving the goal of the expert.

Being smart is thinking about how the expert's wisdom can help achieving your goals, don't blindly follow what he says : you are the leader.

But, please, know exactly what you mean by "better". If you are lazy enough, the definition will be set by the expert.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stop the liveline, adopt the unexpected deadline

Nothing piss me off more than someone who can't keep his promises.

If you don't keep a deadline, you break your promise.
A deadline, by definition, does not move. If it moves again it's a liveline.

What is the root of the problem ?

When you think that doing your work will take 5 days, you tell your boss and customer that you will finish the work in 2.5 days to please them. And it takes finally 3 days with lots of stress and a broken promise and credibility loss.

I propose to change your habits. Don't divide your estimation by two but multiply it by two.

When you think that doing your work will take 5 days, you tell your boss and customer that you will finish the work in 10 days. And it takes finally 6 days with no stress and polished work.
In the eyes of your boss or customer, you just gave them an unexpected gift.
This is what I call the unexpected deadline.

Broken promise take on your self-confidence account, delivering the unexpected save on it.