Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The power of NO

Written today for a work situation... wanted to keep it around for myself- 

A random philosophical thought-

When we have more desires than our budget can handle, we know that some of those desires won’t be achieved. And if we strive to achieve all of them, we may cause none of them to be achieved (or none achieved well).

Budget is not just money, but also people, and time.

Every time we say “NO” to something, we are in fact protecting a “YES” we’ve said elsewhere.

The sooner we say no, the more we stay focused on the yes we promised, and the sooner we achieve that promise.

In this way… a NO insures a YES.

I wish we could build everything we dreamed of, document everything we knew someone might benefit from, and wow every customer contract that came our way, but…

As a a project manager, I want our teams to achieve success, deliver great things, meet their deadlines.

As a scrum master, I say no to things when I know the desire at hand puts something at higher priority at risk. If I suggest a “no”, ask me what the “yes” is that is happening instead!

Help make the higher priority happen sooner, and maybe the no will turn to a yes. Or maybe our knowledge of priorities needs to change (a great conversation!). Simply saying yes to everything and hoping it will happen though… that is a probable path to failure.

Why do I randomly share this here, today? Because after what will soon be 6 months in this great company, I want to help us do more, faster, with more quality… and I truly believe saying “NO” every now and then is one of our paths of getting there. I've suggested "no" a few times recently, and I wanted to share my motivation.

Sometimes we must shine a floodlight into the darkness to uncover what we are missing, but it is a laser that we need to imitate when driving our team focus. "No" can sometimes clear a path for this.