John Mann

    John Mann

    Solving the problem

    I often approach a problem with what are we trying to solve. I know sounds silly to think that simple, but Occam's razor principle right?

    What is the one problem I have ALWAYS encountered in business? Too much process. Of course! Why hasn't everyone identified that and solved that already? Mainly because of fear. People don't want to lose their job, "I'm a manager and they need me to understand their priorities".

    Well, basic psychology has proven that if you give someone too many options they hesitate to make any decision. Ideally you direct them down a 2 decision path. However, if you offer 3 in a pricing model, a majority will take the middle option, why? Because they have pride and don't want something super cheap. They don't want to get forced down the expensive model with things they don't need, so they choose the middle one. So if you give a developer a single priority, or even two options to work on, they will end up doing both very quickly and with great insight. When you give him a list of 20 things to do by end of next week, he will encounter "anaylsis paralysis" and nothing gets done until the last minute with very little thought.

    With a good project plan, you deliver features that your sales team can sell, your development team can develop, and your testers can test. I know it sounds simple, but often projects are too vague: Create a new framework on this new techonology and make it faster than our old stuff, but it must have all the features of the old stuff. And stories are assigned with a single task, "Code it up". This has actually happened to me.

    So my new personal task is to write a tool or documentation, or tutorial about how to setup a new project and how to add a great feature to it from conception to production. It is my passion to help others have simpler lives by using technology correctly.

    Expect something great from people, they will often surprise you.

    Thanks for stopping by. :-)