Skip to main content

I Don't Know

Many people who come from command and control working environments have a very limited circle of safety. This maybe because their suggestions have been discarded rudely, being treated poorly, or always fearing for their job. They do not suggest improvements and are often too scared to ask for help.
source: Wiki Commons

When working in environments like this that are trying to change for the better. One of the things we can do is say "I don't know".  Of course there are two things that follow this statement. Either stopping and ending the sentence, or continuing by suggesting that the unknown is temporary. For example:

"I don't know, but I will learn it"
"I don't know now, but I will find out".

These powerful words can make several positive changes to culture. These words show others that it is OK not to know something as no one in the world knows everything. These words expand the circle of safety for team members so that they know that they can be transparent and ask for help when needed.

It also creates a culture of honesty. By saying that you "don't know", you are basically admitting that there is a missing piece in your knowledge. Others may be confident that they don't have to know everything, raise blocking issues early, and be more open with personal interactions.

Finally, it can help with a culture of continuous learning. A culture of learning can suggest that learning stops, a culture of 'continuous' learning suggests that it is an ever-receding finish line, and the only way to identify that learning is needed is to identify gaps in knowledge and taking action to fill those gaps.

Once again thanks for reading and I wish you all a happy 2018.


Popular posts from this blog

from zero to production in eighty days

When I mean zero, I literally mean zero. A brand new project, a PO that's new to IT, no existing processes in place and a small team of four including myself and the PO.

The departmental organisation we were working for doesn't have any developers, scrum masters, product owners working for them. Everything they did was either done by another department or outsourced completely.

This is a story how we went from zero to production in eighty days.

My first time speaking at a conference

Since time immemorial we humans have valued the art of public speaking. Today, I want to share with you my experiences in speaking at conferences for the first time. Recently, I spoke at both DDD Melbourne and DDD Perth. Both of which were positive experiences that I learnt a lot in.

Have You Ever Produced Negative Value in a System!?

As developers we encourage our product owners to order the priority of their backlog in order of value. However, every time a new feature is implemented by a development team, there is a certain degree of risk associated with the introduction of that new code. Namely, risk of breaking another part of the product and maintenance cost. When a development team pulls in a new feature to implement there is a certain acceptance of this risk. In many cases, the risks that arise due to additional code complexity doesn't justify the value added by the new feature itself, so the development team can start implementing it.

Are there scenarios where the value added to a software product can be negative though?