Inside Out

Patience and maturity

One activity I’m doing these days is consciously forming an opinion about product or strategy decisions irrespective of whether the decisions are on me. Second act is to remain detached from the opinions. Final step is observing how the decisions are made and thinking a bit on what I missed.

Nothing remarkable about the process. I learnt it from one of our product leaders.

Strong opinions, loosely held.

What’s more remarkable is the differences I see in my thinking.

The leaders are way more mature than me. As an example, we are meeting several executives in near future; and we were preparing a pitch today. My opinion about the outcome of the pitch is a discussion on customer value that eventually ends up in a fund or postpone decision. My thinking matched the group think on the process aspect, i.e. discussion on customer value followed by architecture. What I missed was a broader outcome on the strategy. Where I assumed postpone decision to be a failure, the group thought postpone or fund as not necessarily an outcome. Earning trust, respect and a broader understanding of the decision framework/strategy was an outcome.

Where I focused on a fund/no-fund from the pitch, the group focused on pitch as a stepping stone to a even higher bandwidth conversation.

Clearly the group understands that charter and strategy are not a sprintly goal given we have just started with the product. We need to understand the customer better, and empathize.

There comes the second lesson. It takes time.

And it does take a bunch of practice. We have learnt this earlier as well, although in a technical context. The best way to become an architect is to design enough systems, show up for several releases and reflect upon the mistakes.

Now’s the time to laugh on my rambling for the day ;) Thanks for reading, my friend.