Saturday, September 28, 2019

Monkey on your back

Ever feel like you are being weighed down by a ton of monkeys on your back. Well if you do, then you allowed those monkeys to be put on your back.

Lets step back a bit and understand what is a monkey? A monkey is a task you gave a team member to work on and you expect them to take care in doing it to completion, but instead of completing it they bring it back undone to ask you expecting an input or a decision from you to move ahead.

The moment you take it upon yourself to give them an answer you have successfully taken over charge of that monkey and now it is stuck with you until you give an answer. Now think about  it, if you start accumulating monkeys like this what would happen.

You would have to figure out how to make time to handle these monkeys as they get brought back to you to firmly take them and put them back on your team members back.

Remember that if you do not get rid of these monkeys they end up one on top of the other and the longer you keep them the more of a stink they create.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Being Relevant

The IT industry is a very fast changing environment and there are new languages being invented, new technologies being uncovered and new methodologies being proposed. At the same time there are better equipped smarter and more enthusiastic youngsters that are passing out of university all excited to be part of the world building the next exciting thing to hit the technology market.

Given this situation its quite a challenge for someone who has already been working in the industry for sometime to continue to stay relevant and know and understand all the time what is happening and at the same time being acquainted with the technology and the tools that the people are using and the customers are demanding.

But it is important that one does stay acquainted and relevant to the changing times. If you don't then there is every chance that one can get rolled over by either the technology or by the super smart young kids coming out of university.

Learning never ceases and if you stop learning that would be the start of your decline. There is no reason now to stop learning in this age of online courses (coursera, udemy, many more), YouTube and many more platforms.

Keep Learning. Stay Relevant.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Task Execution Vs Task Leadership

Ever been in this situation, you give a task to a member of your team and every few minutes the person would come back to you and ask you for feedback or queries and then you feel you are going nowhere with the task (as many a time you do not know the answers and would have to research) and the person feels that they have put in a lot of effort. 

Alternatively you have the situation where you give a task to the member of your team, they understand what is the end goal of the task, they take all the inputs from you that you have to offer, go back to their desk and do all the research needed to execute, come back with a plan, resources needed and an activity list to execute the task and on approval sets about silently executing the task and only providing you periodic updates on the progress. 

Which of these two team members would you prefer to work with? The answer is quite obvious and this is task execution vs task leadership. Its easy to find people who can execute tasks, but that leaves you to do all the thinking and making the plan. This slows down execution and can leave a lot of things on your desk waiting to be completed. 

Find team members who can show leadership in understanding of what needs to be done and then doing whatever it takes to get it done rather than team members who can only execute what you give them to do. This is what differentiates a great team member from a good team member.