The Uncertainty Principle
The Uncertainty Principle is the creative subtitle given to this post. (My first creative writing post.)
The Uncertainty Principle in quantum mechanics asserts a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain physical properties (such as position and momentum) of a particle can be measured and known.
The Uncertainty Principle in Technology Product Management is not directly related. But the term is inspired by the quantum physics principle. It refers to all of the unknowns when working on a technology project. It is one of the core tenets of The Extreme Lean Methodology (another work-in-progress).
This post is written with this principle in mind.
It’s important to know that there will always be unknowns.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” –Forrest Gump, 1994
I began writing this post with the title “Why I like to take things slow” or “What I like about taking things slow, and what it means”–but neither of those titles conveyed the message that I intend. (I’ve made a few assumptions on this, but for the sake of this writing, let’s leave that argument for another time (I’m going to need to come up with a good term for that parenthetical statement to better define the principle))
Also, through this writing, I’m defining my persona–which may be familiar to some in the workplace. I will write more on personas in the future–there is more power to them than seems to be commonly applied.
What it means to take things slow
Time is relative.
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a nonlinear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff.” –The Tenth Doctor
I won’t bring up physics for this one–this time it’s simply out of context.
What I mean to point out here, is that what feels like a “immediately” and “now” for one person, can feel like an eternity for another person. Remember being a kid and waiting for your parents to be done shopping? Remember waiting for food at a restaurant? Remember waiting to be picked up from school?
In real life and in the workplace, people have expectations. Demands. People often want things done now and fast. Beyond the people, projects, stakeholders, shareholders, budgets, and other causalities will ask for things to happen before they are ready.
Taking things slow does NOT mean waiting. It does not mean not-delivering. It does not mean missing expectations.
Taking things slow means that the VALUE of what you deliver varies.
time x value = expectation
Time 60 x Value 100 = 6000 expectation
Time 30 x Value 50 = 1500 expectation
“Expectation” is loosely defined. And I don’t plan on using many equations in my writings. Bigger numbers are better, and the numbers here are clear.
The key is to manage the expectation.
Why I like to take things slow
When expectations are properly managed, I get to focus.
Focus is key for developing ANYTHING.
I hope that my writings may provide a bit of insight to my particular manner/still-developing method of analyzing stuff. I do this because it seems to be working for me. I use the word “stuff” because it’s casual.
this.post is unrelated to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics (apart from the fact that I consider myself a would-be scientist, and am on a journey to understanding the quantum world (along with the world in general.))
Maybe consider this, Fig’s Uncertainty Principle.
Let’s explore some of the methods and ideologies we can apply when managing expectations and taking things slow.
Here are a few points that will help with The Uncertainty Principle and managing expectations. There are more, but to get us started:
1. Grammar Is Important
Grammar is important. But conveying A. CLEAR. MESSAGE. is much more important.
Know the rules, and know how/when to break them.
Be like Bach.
This will be a topic for a future post.
2. Follow Your Analytical Flow
“Getting in to a flow” state is often a point discussed by productivity gurus. The idea is to reach a mindful state where all of your focus is directed at the task at hand. No doubt, this is ideal. There are a few methods of doing this–but given today’s reality, it’s REALLY hard to find time for this regularly. Making flow a priority, is almost counterintuitive.
Therefore, to be truly productive, one must learn to produce both IN and OUT of flow states.
This means that your ideas will be interrupted by other ideas–and that’s ok! Write it all down. Stop mid-sentence, create a new h2/h3/h4 (depending on your program and note-indent-style).
I created this section while in the middle of writing another–almost mid-thought.
Maybe it’s ok to leave thoughts unfinished, too. I’ll come back to this. 😜
3. The Emoji Analysis
Emoji is ok, just don’t over do it!
Emojis bring a human element to otherwise cold, lifeless text. Have some fun.
But I repeat, do NOT overdo it.
I have some thoughts on a light-hearted Emoji Analysis that I may post about it later.
4. Write in clear terms that a computer can understand
No, you’re not writing for the computer. You’re using clear language, that can then be re-used by software designers/engineers downstream.
Also, don’t hashtag stuff or use acronyms. (Unless you’re purposely breaking the rules, as discussed.)
5. Take breaks casually
But keep at it.
6. Go back and make edits after you’re done
After I’ve completed my definition of done–I can go back and make edits. This will help turn your flow into discernible, albeit still kinda loose, story.
One such edit was to move this point from the very end, to just before “Definition of done”.
7. Definition of done / How to decide when to stop
This is one of the most important things.
Just by chance, I’m ending with it.
How does this come before the discovery process? It doesn’t. If you’re working on a project, and come to a point you realize that you don’t have a “definition of done”–that’s exactly the moment you need to decide on it.
Definition of done today is “enough content that I feel comfortable with for a first, post. Lean obscure.”
What I’m listening to:
Steve Vai – “Dark Matter”
Steve Vai is a virtuoso guitar pioneer. His new vid is wacky. Also below is him vs The Kid from Ninja Turtles/Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio.