- you and your heroes have alienated everyone else,
- your project is still totally screwed.
This is a recurring pattern that many growing companies fall into, and it also occurs to projects within larger companies. Anywhere you find managerial desperation and a hardworking team, Do It Harder may be visiting.
The Fall and Rise of a Hero
你走进办公室的一个下雨天，你的老板想跟你说话。他需要你完成你的项目，但他也希望你完成你的同事项目，如果你的同事仍然会去ownthe project, you’re just going todo它（以及您的其他工作，记住）。
A few weeks later, the site starts crashing every few days, and the company really needs to launch the new version of the site. The boss pops in to let you know he deeply trusts you, and needs you to take over both efforts. You’re a good guy and it sounds like a good opportunity, and you’re pretty sure you can do a better job than the guys already working on it, so you say yes.
Congratulations! You’re a hero programmer.
You’re now working on five disparate projects, trying not to piss too many people off, but you’re having trouble getting everyone involved. It seems like they’re not really working as hard as you are, and it’s a bit of a drag, since you’re pulling seventy hour weeks and getting paged every Saturday night.
Day after day, and week after week the frustration between heroes and non-heroes grows stronger, tumbling toward inevitable disaster.
Kill the Hero Programmer
When it comes to solving the hero programmer, your options are limited: either kill the environment that breeds hero programmers, or kill the hero programmer by burnout.
They’re truly unmaintainable beings, as their presence limits the effectiveness of those around them in exchange for a short-term burst of productivity fueled by long hours and minimized communication costs (minimized because most other people aren’t able to do much).
These long hours burn your heroes out, and then they either quit or you shove them into a corner where they’ll glower at you while remembering how their hard work and critical contributions culminated in them glaring at you from that corner.
One of the observations fromsystems thinkingis that while humans are prone to interpreting events as causal, often problems are better described in terms of a series of stockpiles which grow and shrink based on incoming and outgoing flows. TheDust Bowl不是由一位农民或overfar的一年ming, but by years of systemic abuse.
Stocks and flows are especially valuable in understanding project and team failure. Projects fall behind one sprint at a time. Technical debt strangles projects over months.
Projects fail slowly, fixing them takes time too.
Working at a frenetic pace for a couple weeks or a month may feel like a major outpouring of effort and energy, but it’s near impossible to quickly counteract a deficit created over months of poor implementation or management choices.
If hard work and breeding heroes doesn’t work, what does?
Taking the blame is painful, and only plays well with the crowds a couple of times. After that people won’t trust you to lead them towards success, which makes some sense, since at that point you’ve lead them off the rails multiple times. Fair’s fair.
如果造成损失不会让您看起来有光泽，至少达到关闭是治愈，并且团队将有机会开始治愈，因为计划重置和调整目标。如果没有杠杆改变政策 - 这不一定是直接权威，影响力是一个强大的东西 - 你无法开始治疗，但你可以帮助更快地达到重置点。（类似于ISAAC Asimov的基础，相对于加速和最小化加入帝国的崩溃Foundation Series.)
Without policy, your tool is stepping back and allowing the brokenness to collapse under its own weight. A deeply flawed system can’t be saved by bandaids, but can easily absorb your happiness to slightly extend its viability. By stepping back you conserve your energy, avoid creating rifts by pushing others away in hero mode, and will be ready to be a part of a new–hopefully more functional–system after the reset does occur.
This is a very uncomfortable process, and if you’re a hardworking, loyal person, then it probably goes deeply against your nature. It certainly goes against my nature, but I believe that this is one case where following my nature is a detriment to both myself and those around me.
Kill your heroes and stop doing it harder. Don’t trap yourself in your mistakes, learn from them and move forward.