Gary Allison's Leadership Blog

Leadership21 Jul 2006 02:50 am

It just amazes me the creative and inventive ways people use to avoid goal setting.    Believe me, I’ve seen it all.  When it comes right down to it, most people would just rather not be held accountable.  And, to some degree, this is understandable.  Life is full of the unexpected – and software is a great example.  There are new technologies, new toolkits, new platforms, and just plain new stuff all the time!  Who can say in any degree of certainty, how long something will take.  If you are truly certain, then you’re probably not working on anything very interesting.

But, beware of the one who continually avoids commitment.  Enough said.

About measurement. … A goal is only worthwhile if you measure, reward, and learn from it.  If you are setting goals using a process like SCRUM, goal measurement is fairly clear.  I love this process because it provides daily feedback and peer-to-peer accountability of the type not possible to deliver hierarchically from management.  It just means so much more coming from your comrades in arms. At the organizational level, I’m a huge proponent of setting high level vision goals at a functional level each quarter of things that need to get done, and then validating these with each team.  Once each team develops the detailed goals supporting the vision goals, we can validate they’re achievable, refine them, and make them more specific. This reminds me, sometime I really need to blog on what it is like to develop software for Japanese customers.  I wonder… can my career survive that much honesty…. 

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