Recently, while working with one of our customers the topic of heroics came up… okay, this comes up all the time :)
It seems hard to argue with heroics, from the time we were young we’ve heard stories of heroes in our family tree or national history. The term is attributed with acts of valor and selflessness.
Upon closer examination, frequently we find that the heroics that are being described in many enterprises could be better attributed with undisciplined, or even un-intentional delivery….
How do you define a hero in your business?
How does your business define a hero?
How do you reward the heroes?
A bunch of companies define a hero as someone who swoops into a project to save the day. They work a ton of overtime and get the job done by slaying the vicious dragon. They are capable of quickly stitching up a troubled problem just enough to get it to market.
It’s time for this paradigm to change.
When transitioning to agile there is a high value placed on one of the 12 principles of agile development, the indefinite, sustainable pace. Given the traditional “hero”, we immediately have a conflict. So let’s change the definition of the hero.
- What it is not:
- working overtime
- being the goto guy
- taking over for others
- saving a project at the last minute
- the number of bugs you find
- the total lines of code you write
- What it is:
- Sharing in successes and failures with the team
- Practicing commander’s intent by helping the team generate new ideas of how to achieve a goal with an unknown path.
- Demonstrable selflessness in self promotion
- Creating a new team option by developing a new Generalist skill
- Reducing team cycle time
This blog was co-written by Isaac Hogue.