Both Big & Small

30 Nov 2020

There are some engineers that excel at delivering small pieces of high quality work. Like a metronome they consistently deliver. There are other engineers that pull large and complicated projects across the finish line, without the sense of a death march or moving the goal posts. You need both these kinds of engineers in order to stay afloat.

Even better yet there are engineers who can do both of these things at the same time. In addition to shipping the big project there are some smaller pieces in there as well.

If you don't have an organization that can ship the small things, you'll die by suffocation. The communication and administration cost will be so high that you'll never be able to keep track of everything, no matter how hard you try. Why? Because there is a never-ending list of small things that will always grow. If you never ship against this list it will never get smaller.

If you don't have an organization that can ship the big things, you'll fall behind. New competitors will outflank you. You'll be left behind by technological changes and engineering techniques. Slowly your organization will lose its standing in the market.

Your folks will naturally gravitate towards one of these poles. Try and cultivate people at both ends. You'll need them.