Deadlines vs. targets

When I started with AgileThor, I had so much enthusiasm that it was unbearable. I began to write, and I hadn't written anything for months. So why now, you ask?

Because I need to release again. Release the pressure. I have a deadline about to reach. I am turning 30 in a few months, and so many things I haven't done yet!

You might laugh now: "What is this young girl crying about? She is 30, for the love of my god!". Well, let me tell you how my mind works first.

My story

When I was 21, I heard about agile for the first time. God, I just realized it's almost a decade! Anyway... I was sitting in Moldova's local university, barely speaking English, surrounded by other students who wanted to learn something about becoming an IT leader. I saw these great Scrum Masters' and Product Owners' speeches, and I promised to become like them. And I did! I had a vision, the target with a checklist of who I wanted to become. If I want to understand what people around me are doing, I want to code myself. And I did (basics)! I knew I couldn't survive in IT with my English skills, so I needed to improve. And I did! I need to stop being shy if I want to facilitate discussions. And I did! I didn't have a deadlines; I kept going organically with a vision/target/checkboxes in mind and tried to improve.

In my 20s, I had my career sorted out but had a few things I wanted before 30. One of them was a house I am going to grow old in.

Years passed, and I fixed on house searching. With prices growing exponentially, I was uncomfortable with my income for a while. All in my thinking has transformed into money. I've ruined my (humbly stating) sweet personality by having a deadline around mammon over value. I stopped enjoying things I liked before, and I felt incredible pressure instead. I didn't eat well, some people worried. What do I need to do?

Keep the vision as a target as what I want and why and exclude deadlines from the equation in a seek of my well-being.

Deadlines and targets by definition

Target is a level or situation that you intend to achieve.

Deadline is a time or day by which something must be done.

Taking my experience and modifying it into a work-related situation

Business representatives have promised a specific set of features at a particular time to increase revenue. Pushed team to commit. What happens? Some other good initiatives could be postponed; quality might hurt, and some people might leave because the pressure was too much. Ever happened to you?

What if

business representatives won't commit? they'll spend more time analyzing the initiative from a customer impact standpoint first, revenue second, third..? instead of the deadline, we'll have only simple roadmaps always up to date, being adjusted every time anything moves, transparent, and available for anyone, including customers?

If I am a customer with a dependency, I think this roadmap is enough to plan around this and still be effective. If I provide a service at the end of life, I'll have this transparent roadmap for my customers, and I'll talk to them, making sure they'll pick it up. I won't ask about the final dates. I am constantly interested in how I can help the target by supporting the achievement of the identified sequence of actions instead.

To summarize

Setting a deadline brings unnecessary pressure, while a clear target brings incremental improvements and joy along the way, where we can shift to something else at any time.Money as a priority over people around me doesn't lead to satisfaction in the long run.

I am done with deadlines. I want to enjoy improvement. What about you?