Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2008-02-16

Doing your best

What is your job description, what is your title? It should be everyone's job description to do one's best. That is the most important job description you need. No matter what you do. Then there's the issue of what your role is at your company/organization/what ever. The role I'm currently holding is Product Owner, and when I'm playing that role at work I should aim at doing the best I can meeting the needs to for fill that role. Giving and taking.

But, isn't Product Owner my job description? Well, no. It's just the role and the difference lies in the fact that my most important task is doing the best. And right now it is being PO on my project. When I returned from the hospital, doing my best was not playing the PO, since I wasn't updated, the sprint was on, etc etc. So, instead I took on other tasks. But I was still doing my best. Doing the best one can is making sure that nothing falls due to absence of an individual (if you're not working solo on your own project and in your own company. Doing your best is realizing your limits and concentrating on what gives the best results.

Ken Schwaber writes "on a team there are no titles", and I believe that is an important statement: no one claims tasks as their own. There are tasks that are associated with a role which might be hold by an individual at a specific time. But if that person is gone or unavailable, the role must be filled by someone else.

I'm following a documentary on Swedish Television. It follows a rather tragic project where one of the worst classes in Sweden is transformed into one of the best. In just half a year. The tools are good teachers. Doing their best and requiring the best from their students. I give my best and therefore I can expect the same from you. Tragic, why? well, the student's ordinary teachers are asked to describe their class, they all give them all the credits: they are smart, good, nice. Everything. And then one of the new teachers asks: but if that is true, why are their grades lousy? Doing your best is never covering things up: Ken Schwaber also writes that Scrum is never covering things up. Honesty is important to make people doing their best.

There are so many good companies and development teams out there and if you're not doing your best, be certain that another team is. And even if you have the best product in the world, that will change faster than you ever thought possible. Or as Lance Armstrong put it to a slacking biker on his team: Get on your f*cking bike, or I'll find someone else who does it.

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