I’m constantly getting frustrated whenever I see this behavior: people trying to set up some rules or procedures which tell everyone what to do in such and such hypothetical or unlikely situation. Who should tell me what to do when support engineer gets sick and can’t pick up the phone? Who is responsible for sorting our priorities when emergency screws our plan up? What should I do when another ash cloud hits our project.
Well, I know what the wrong answer is. The wrong answer is: let’s write a procedure, or set up a rule, which tells us what to do so no one really needs to use their brains to find it out. Let’s write darn checklist for everything so we can tell that project couldn’t possibly have been screwed because we have a nice column of ticks on the list. It couldn’t have been, even when the only things we see at the moment are a totally pissed off client and burning brothel which we used to call “a project.”
You just can’t have a rule for everything.
Um, after a second thought, you actually can.
The rule is: just follow damn common sense!
Don’t know what to do? Find it out. Talk with people. Share your problem. Actively look for a solution. Take responsibility for sorting out the mess. As long as you solve the puzzle it doesn’t really matter whether you followed rules or whether there even were any rules in the first place.
If you’re kind of a prophet and you know exactly what kind of issues you’ll be facing on October 4th, or any other date in future, go set up rules which will help you deal with these problems. However if you’re like normal people without hugely overgrown ego, let’s just agree that it isn’t possible to predict all the issues we might face.
Let’s agree that we all are professionals who are willing to work hard, hand to hand with each other, on solving any shit we’ve got into. Let’s just agree we don’t need procedures or rules to deal with every single situation the future brings.
Unless the only thing you look for is to deal the blame among others, that is.