Asking for permission

Recently we attended one more of the change advisory (also known as approval) board meetings.

We were kindly asked to provide more detail … and that’s the boring part of the story.

The interesting part is the difference in the weight of arguments from the friends we brought into the discussion. Again, we were surprised by what really made the different – their rank or function didn’t matter either … what mattered was our track record of doing the same thing, just called something else.

That’s the really interesting part – I was reminded by this sequence of events that one needs way more patience than you assume or guess, and ‘being patient’ never stops. It will take years of persistence for your name, statistics of your track record and the documentation of how you achieved that to permeate the large organisations (10k+ people). Doing something once or twice, maybe even ten times is simply not enough. When the organisation is shipping hundreds of changes a day, you need to get to that volume yourself to ‘stand and measure up’.

What keeps this interesting for me is how I can accelerate that process for the next team or process I am involved in. Is it better to go slow but steady (no failures) or fast, fail a lot but get to the volume 10 times faster for example? We were firmly in the first camp this time around and I guess when you play with real banks and real millions of transactions of millions of people … second can be ‘not an option’, so maybe how do you fail often and fast with 1 client, not 1 million? Plenty of road for discovery and experimentation.

How are you building your teams brand, not just the product you develop?


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