I took a break from the mistletoe chaos of the dead zone between Christmas and New Year’s to do two things, both portrayed below:
This process came from a simple desire: focus. Seven things on that list of ten are the current thing, but better, and only three things are net new:
It is…hard for me to take planning processes too seriously. Sometimes it feels sacrilegious to worry too much about event sequencing when I know I have more than enough high-urgency, high-importance items to tackle for the foreseeable future. As my old colleague @basta writes:
There’s obvious value in knowing what you want to be doing in a year. Having a vision is important. Laying out all of the individual steps to get there isn’t valuable or important. Besides the planning process for an extended roadmap being tedious and slow, it forces teams to sign up for a plan that is disrupted by any participant in the plan facing disruptions.
(By the way — you should subscribe to his newsletter. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say he was the single most interesting technical writer within the company and I am thrilled that he’s taken his talents to the public domain, so to speak.)
The vision thing is good. I think I write every two months about struggling to translate tactics into strategy; this is one of those times where I am trying to be a bit more conscious about having a horizon larger than a month and an appetite larger than a pull request.
All of which is to say: the vision I’m carrying forward into 2023 is (and will be enshrined into some somewhat hackeneyed principles, I’m sure):
I don’t think I will actually track these as KPIs; I’m not sure that’s useful or interesting. But they will be a good compass, and a good forcing function to push me to say no to work that doesn’t move any of these hypothetical needles.