Habit 2: Confuse Motion With Action
We explore the difference between work and heat in today’s habit.
Seven Habits of Highly Dysfunctional Enterprise Developers:
- Blame Everyone But Yourself
- Confuse Motion With Action
- Use Complexity To Demonstrate Intelligence
- Keep Important Information Secret And Safe
- Fix It Later
- Reuse Is Overrated
- Principles Are More Important Than Results
Lots of people misunderstand the difference between motion and action. Or in physics terms, the difference between work (energy put into a system that increases the potential of an object) vs. heat (energy expended but with no future value, like friction). Steve Blank recently made a memorable post on it:
Steve: Jim, how are we doing with getting Ansys ported?
Jim: Great, I have a bunch of calls into them.
Steve: How are we doing on the Nastran port?
Jim: Wonderful, they said they’ll get back to me next month.
Steve: How about Dyna 3D?
Jim: It’s going great, we’re on their list
Putting in the effort to look busy is not the same as making real progress towards a goal. I’ve sat in countless meetings listening to this sort of status reporting (at all levels, not just for developers either) and I’m sure you have too. Oh, wait…you’ve given a status report like that? Yeah, me too. Next time you’re tempted to do that, look at the problem differently:
- What goal do I need to accomplish?
- What is in my way of doing that?
- How can I get rid of those obstacles?