In the television show about corrupt cops The Shield, Curtis Lemansky, one of the main characters, once said “Why can’t we just do our jobs, and stop?“. That quote came back to me while reading Jason Friend’s book Rework.
Rework is A) about doing the bare minimum, B) starting now, and C) completing the work as fast as possible. On The Shield, the characters spend most of their time trying to cover up a few early crimes, which are the corrupt cop equivalent of cool, unrequested features.
Both of those notions seem relevant to me as I’ve spent two hours trying to fix a special “feature” on a website I built several years ago. The client did not ask for the feature in the original specification but it was easy enough build, and I thought the client would like it. She liked it, and she was happy with that I “Under-promised and over-delivered.” Now that feature conflicts with some new security feature(!) on the server and I’ve spent two hours getting it to work. Two unbillable hours gone fixing something the client never wanted enough to ask or pay for. Now that I think about it most of my “emergency” fixes have centered around unrequested features that people liked, but didn’t need.
Therefore, I’m declaring a new rule here at DTF/Stronico HQ – Do your job and stop. No special features, no under-promising and over-delivering, and above all no surprises. No extra features at all, just the agreed upon work, possibly faster than promised if anything. I dub it the Lemansky Rule.
We’ll see if I stick to it.
This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog
|Written By Steve French