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Ungathered Thoughts

Work and Trails

I had an experience today where someone said, "can I do that, I have a special way to do it". Then they took over the task and made a small change to the process which improved it. Job done, and great - since I saw the approach, I can use that next time.

It got me thinking about types of task though, and allocation within teams. Let's turn this into a model for deciding who should take that ticket off the board.

Let's say there's ten tasks on the board. Some of those tasks demand in depth knowledge and creative solutions, and some are more ordinary problems. Some are trail-blazing, and some are walks on a trail we know.

I don't like "junior/senior" terminology but I'll use it here for now.

If our senior developer picks up a task that the junior could have done with a little guidance, then the senior is wasting both their own resource and a learning opportunity for the team.

So, when you allocate a task, ask yourself: do we need to trailblaze[1] here, or could we show someone to the start of the path and let them take it from there?

  1. There's a whole lot more to discuss in resisting the desire to innovate when solutions exist. Another time! ↩︎