Driven by Passion

So it seems this blogging thing is quite difficult after all, or at least so is finding the time I would argue is required to do it to a worthwhile and acceptable standard; or perhaps I’m missing a vital ingredient to the blogging recipe?


I was taking my medicinal walk this afternoon (more about that another time, perhaps) and given the scorching sun and faltering energy levels I decided to take refuge in the cathedral.

Heresy I know but I’m not really taken with all this grand Church malarkey (I’ll be ejected from Canterbury for saying this – no mistake!) but staring up at the magnificent architecture and craftsmanship I came to one firm conclusion:

“They must have had some balls passion to pull this off”

On my tour grandiose hypotheses grew that the “passion” to fulfil this architectural vision probably isn’t much different than in our own world, at least for some system architects. If however I was to tell my Product Manager his project was going to take 292 years to build he’d understandably faint (he probably would too), but given it took this long to build the original cathedral it posed the question how did they manage and sustain this?


I suspect the answer lies in something we in the software industry do so badly, in “managing expectation”. Unfortunately when you cross passion with the delivery expectations of the modern world we habitually exhibit false compromise, from where there is bound to be war – and casualties.

Our choice of weapon for combat is often unwavering resolve, unwillingness to compromise, and devotion often neglected of appreciation and reward. The dawn of realisation this ‘thing’ is never going to get finished hits home quite early, but only goes to re-affirm our battle plan and justify loses.


The end result is battle-worn hero’s emerging from the trenches, barely recognisable to the loved ones who’ve seen it all before, but thankful they’ve made it back alive at all. As an industry we need to stop doing this, we need to use and impose our experience on business process to ensure we and our team members are given time to build our cathedrals without sacrificing passion or under-delivering.

In a series of blog-posts in the coming weeks I hope to tell the journey of my last twelve months, and how in a management capacity I set about tackling these and other challenges, and importantly admitting if I succeeded.

Next time: Art of Estimation
Coming soon: The Holy Grail of Management