August 2022 Recap

Aug 31 2022

💼 Meeting deadlines

At work, we've been running a marathon at a sprinters pace. There was a short timeframe to finish a lot of work. But the work was necessary for the successes of an important new customer. Standard process went out the window due to the short timeline. We brought in another engineer, reduced scope, and worked late to deliver the work in time. While this effort was a win for the business, the process can be improved.

This is the process mindset I believe in: Valuable --> Feasible --> Viable

  • Valuable: Will this deliver value for our customers?
  • Feasible: Can we actually build this in the allotted amount of time? If not, what can we build?
  • Viable: Does the this meet the needs of the business?

But there are nuances. We know this work will deliver Value. We know this is more than Viable for the business. But our engineering team did not have ample time to discover the Feasibility. How does a product organization solve for delivering a large amount of work in a short amount of time? The only levers I am aware of are:

  1. Have more engineers work on the problem. And,
  2. reduce the scope.

I want to optimize our workflow by going through these steps before committing to a deadline. I want to avoid over-promising and under-delivering. To improve the process, I will need buy in from the org. Stakeholders, the product managers, QA, and the engineering team all need to be on board. I've begun working on a document to share, which I'm hoping will improve our mindset for future work.

🏠 They say you can't go home again

My wife and I stayed at my childhood home at the beginning of this month while watching my parent's dogs. I loved that house growing up, and looked forward to spending time there while I was away at college. But the house doesn't feel like home anymore.

My old room remains unchanged.

The trampoline is still in the backyard.

Everything seems the same.

I'm the one that's different.

I have always been sensitive to the changing of seasons, from one decade into the other. But I'm exited to build the home our family grows in. My home has changed from the place where I grew up to the place my wife and I are creating. That's a change worth celebrating.

🧳 Still moving into the new house

Speaking of our home. We're still living out of boxes. We had the floors refinished this month so it's time to unpack. The problem is, our social lives have our weekends booked until the end of September. I should be more productive during the week, but it's hard to build momentum in a chaotic space. It's a chicken & egg problem.

I know my mind will be at ease when we've put our house together.

But, it's difficult to motivate myself to put the house back together when my mind isn't at ease.

It's another reminder that Action Begets Motivation. So get to work Andrew.

😞 I hurt my knee

Injuries suck. I tore my ACL in college. I was laid up for 6 months, missed the ski season, and couldn't do the healthy activities that counterbalanced my less-than-great diet. And still, I forget to be grateful when I'm in good health.

This month I injured my other knee while wakeboarding up in Priest Lake, ID. Thankfully, It's not as severe as my torn ACL (most likely a strained meniscus). I'm reminded that it's terrible to not be able to run, play sports, or hike. I keep thinking, why didn't I take advantage of my injury free body? I shouldn't take my health for granted.

An exercise I do sometimes is reflect on negative things that happen to me. Then I attempt to give them a positive spin. I ask the question: "What if this bad thing, was a good thing?"

My answer this time is: This injury is a good thing if its a reminder to be more active every day. Maybe, this injury is what gets me back into a running habit? Maybe, this injury leads to hitting the gym more often?

To end on a positive note. Despite the bum right leg, I managed to surf behind the boat without a rope for the first time. Cheers to learning new skills!


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