Oh I don't ever fall sick. I take antiobiotics every day!

There are three attitudes towards antibiotics:
  1. I don't need antibiotics. EVER. My body will evolve to fight this.
  2. I'll pop one all the time. Never fall sick.
  3. I'll take the course if I'm sick and the doctor insists. But I'll tweak my diet and lifestyle once I'm ok.

Obviously two of those are foolish.

Working weekends and late into the night (or morning) should be treated like an antibiotic pill - taken to compensate for a failure in planning that the team could not foresee. It should help bring back the project on track. And once the team is over the hill, they should look back and decide what needs to change in the process, tools or skills.

If you see people taking this stretching daily to keep the project strong, that part of the team is will look strong but will eventuall crash - just like the guy who takes antibiotics every day and creates an antibiotic-tolerant bacteria in the process. On the other side of the spectrum can be someone innately optimistic who believes everything will automatically work out - no need to stretch even when the house is on fire. This person can kill the project by not pitching in at the right time.

Both category 1 and 2 need fixing and tuning.

Published: 23 Nov 2017.

All views expressed here are my own and not endorsed by my employer or any other company. Cases presented do not necessarily relate to my employer, peers or team. - Vikrant