Thursday, March 26, 2009

Think Different

Personally, I'd rank things differently then the ranking given in the previous post.
  1. Revenue for the quarter is as expected
  2. Revenue for the quarter exceeds expectations by 10%
  3. Revenue for the quarter are short of expectations by 10%
  4. Revenue for the quarter exceeds expectations by 50%
  5. Revenue for the quarter are short of expectations by 50%
And I'd only classify the first as success. They key isn't how much was achieved as much as how close to expecations was the result. To me, that's the difference between a short term and a long term view.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rating Outcomes

Let's for a moment say that you run a business (if you don't already). You have forecasted your revenue for the quarter. Now consider the following scenarios:
  1. Revenue for the quarter exceeds expectations by 50%
  2. Revenue for the quarter exceeds expectations by 10%
  3. Revenue for the quarter is as expected
  4. Revenue for the quarter are short of expectations by 10%
  5. Revenue for the quarter are short of expectations by 50%
I'm willing to bet that if I asked you to rank these scenarios from best to worst, you'd rank them in the order I've presented them. I'm also willing to bet that you'd classify 1-3 as successes and 4-5 as failures. Feel free to comment if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Expectations


A failure can be defined as when expectations are not met. The less met the greater the failure. Conversely, success is seen as meeting or exceeding expectations. One way to avoid failure is not to have expectations. But then it is very difficult to imagine a worthwhile endeavor that does not have some form of attached expecations.

So the really short answer is that it is impossible to avoid failures.

Update: That is, it is impossible to never fail. There will always be expectations and success and failure is judged based on those expectations.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Failure

The thing that has been bouncing about my head for the last few days is,

Is is possible to avoid failure?

The short answer is no.

The slightly longer, but still short answer is: no, depends on your attitude and yes.

To be continued...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good Teams

While watching a bit of basketball the other day, I heard a good description of the difference between a good team and a bad team.

A good team accepts that they worked together and are responsible for the good and the bad that happens to them.

A bad team is made up of individuals that take credit for the good and blame others for the bad. (Shall we call them egotistical finger pointers?)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blame

While I'm quoting people...

"It's not who's wrong, it's what's wrong. It's not who's right, it's what's right." - MIKE WROBLEWSKI

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Responsibility


Just got back from a ThoughtWorks' Quarterly Technology Briefing and was pleasantly surprised to see Jason Yip there. Best anology from Jason:

Not taking responibility for a problem is like saying the hole is not on your side of the boat.