28 August 2017

Over Come By Events

Sometimes we take on too much. I've talked about taking a break and about meeting objectives. I've even talked about commitment. But what happens when it is physically impossible to meet an objective -- when you are over come by events.

You need to reset your commitment, and you need to do so publicly and firmly. 

Over the last 40 years I don't know how many times I've had to appeal to someone else's grace because I've failed to deliver something on time. From homework assignments in school to project deliverables or time-sheets. There are any number of things I've failed to deliver on time.

I think I've mentioned, I'm an early-is-on-time, on-time-is-too-late kinda guy. I hate being late. I will burn the candle at both ends to be on-time. Even with that attitude there are times where the laws of physics get in the way.

So, when I find that I'm not going to make a commitment, as soon as I know, I contact the person I've made a commitment to and let them know. I then recommit and get back to it. 

Simple examples of this are, I'm going to be late to a meeting. I call the organizer and tell them when I will be there. I'm not going to finish my story card by the end of sprint, I contact my tech-lead and product owner and inform them of when I will be finished. A deploy is not going to get delivered on time. I contact my Delivery Lead and Product Owner and inform them of when it will happen. 

It is a terrible feeling to not get something done when you've made a commitment. That said, it is inevitable that you will fail at some point in your career. So when that happens, you have to buck-up and let the person you committed to know that you are aware of the issue and then recommit to them when you will complete the work.