What is an appropriate analogy for what we do? In a broad sense. Do we put together the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle? Or are we patching over old clothes with new bits of material? Or is it the case of smithy-ing up the latest plate mail armor? That last one was a little over the top.
But anyway. As fun as thinking about an analogy for the work that we do … I’m finding more and more that the planning and foresight will be far more beneficial. How to describe what you are doing will come out, if you know exactly what it is you are doing.
When telling the boss … if we know what goals we are currently achieving, and where we are going, it is much easier to be confident in relaying your progress.
At least, that’s the theory. I’m sure there are all sorts of divergent truths about how to approach project management.
But in the end, managing the project is a good idea. Every week, at least, pulling the head out of the code/whatever and taking stock. Where am I? What goals am I aiming for this week?
And it’s not just a simple "this goal" then "this goal". Taking the time to look at how the small ones interact and are enveloped by the larger goals is very important. I might be talking crazy … but with my current project I’m desperately trying to keep track of it. Becuase it’s big. And the other end is scary. So breaking it down is a good thing. Keeping track of the end is good. Simple goals, weaving together. Having a time frame. Using the blessed gantt chart/todo list.