@johncutlefish's blog

I am currently writing weekly here and have all my 2020 posts here.

When You Hear _______, Pay Attention

Published: June 20, 2018

Note: With dad-hood I’m doing more lists. They’re easier to write while learning to care for this awesome little farting/burping/pooping/smiling human. Apologies if you’re a fan of the longer posts. I’ll get back to them eventually/occasionally.

A quick list of hints that there may be an opportunity for improvement (and/or that you’re about to fall into a trap and need to pay attention):

  • Might as well do [some extra thing] while we [do the original thing]
  • We don’t want to have to revisit [some decision]
  • While we’re waiting on [some blocker], let’s start [something new]
  • It would probably be more efficient if we ……
  • It’s too early to [some interaction with users/customers]
  • If we bundle these things together we will get [some efficiency]
  • We don’t all need to be in the room for [some decision]
  • We can “get ahead of it” by [a series of handoffs]
  • Well [some person] is the only person who can do [some task]
  • It doesn’t work now, but it will work when [some future task is done]
  • We’ll have to wait on [some person] to make that decision
  • It’s the right thing to do but [some excuse masquerading as pragmatism]
  • We just need to “lock down” [some specification] and then we can……
  • Just this one time lets [some cut corner] and then we’ll fix it, hopefully
  • We need to do this to close [one deal]. But I’m sure it will apply elsewhere……
  • Oh, this doesn’t need UX [or QA, Ops, etc.]
  • So we have this [side project]…can you attend the meeting to [plan in secret]?
  • Oh we can’t risk [trying some valuable goal]
  • Oh you can’t test [some feature] because [some perceived limitation]
  • We need individual owners otherwise [some inability to track/punish]
  • Well, we’re unique because [some non-unique challenge]
  • This is too big for one sprint, so we’ll do phase one now and….
  • I’m pretty sure I can represent the customer in this case…
  • [Some effort] is too big to fail. We need to get this right…
  • We need some quick wins because [normal wins take too long]
  • I think we can parallelize [two related efforts]
  • And then [some other group] can maintain it, right? My friend Jon Quigley and I are writing a follow up post with more explanation, but hopefully this is helpful in raw form…

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