Being replaceable in work may not seem like a good thing. But I definitely think it can be. Those who disagree tend to think about replaceability in a negative sense. Who wants to think there is someone else out there that can do your job as well (or better) than you? A lot of this comes from a scarcity mindset: that there are only a set number of jobs and once they are taken that’s it. But new jobs are created all the time as long as there is a case that demands it.
I’ve been accused of being a narcissist before. Not in those exact words, but I will never forget the conversation. I was 25 and a good friend of mine and I were talking. She finally said (in a rare pause of my banter), “Natalie, you always talk about you and never ask about me.” Wow, that one hit hard and I felt guilty and ashamed. I had never thought about it before. I wondered where my baby-boomer parents had gone wrong in raising me as a millennial snowflake (who was nothing but extraordinary) who didn’t know the true definition of meaningful discourse. Ever since then, I’ve put a concerted effort into making sure that I ask the other person I’m talking to questions about themselves. It’s a constant reminder in my awkward conversational brain – “ask them about their day, weekend, year…yeah—that’s perfect!” We often run into a narcissism problem in product development, too, and it can stem from fear and shame.
Let’s talk about cost of delay – the cost of having NOT done something. Basically the opportunity cost of choosing to do one thing over another. Seems simple enough but it’s not.
This is a good follow on to the velocity and capacity discussion. If velocity is the amount of new feature work we can get done in a sprint and capacity is the amount of bandwidth we have in the sprint, other stuff fills in the delta between velocity and capacity. SO…do we estimate it?