Monday, 8 August 2011

Birds eye view

Working on a project with a group of skilled workers is a bit like being in an ants nest. Everyone has their tasks, there is frequent crossover and interaction (I think this is represented by the paths through the ants nest, but I'll admit I may not have thought this metaphor through in its entirety) and endless, endless work.

My role as a developer means that after receiving a pile of information from someone who knows what they're talking about, I have more or less been left in isolation to get on with it. This suits me quite nicely for a while, but it's generally not long before I look up and it seems that I am the only ant in the nest.

For the last many months I have had this feeling (which is wholly false - I am not by any means the only person on this project and I have had a lot of support from SMEs) about one particular project and I've been working on a myriad of tiny tasks.

Tomorrow is more or less the final meeting, so I clambered out of the little hole I'd worked myself into and, in a completely unexpected turn of events, saw the whole project. A bird's eye view, if you will. It's so close to completion I can practically taste the celebratory real ale.

What has this taught me? Perspective. I don't allow time for perspective when I'm working and I'm now certain that this has a negative impact on my organisational skills. Sadly, with perspective you lose that feeling of wonder that it's all come together, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Especially since, from now on, other people will suffer if I don't have the proper perspective.