Thursday, September 06, 2007

From One Hand to Another

Here's a brief follow-up on my "No Hand Backs" post from 3/28/07.

We need to resist the urge to broadcast a hand off. You've probably exepienced this: someone identifies a problem or wants something done, so they type up an email and task several people. It could be that they aren't sure who to task, so they just put as many people in the "to:" line as they can.

I've noticed that this often results in:
  • Several people chasing after a solution, which is horribly inefficient and sometimes results in complications, or
  • Nobody picks up the task. Sometimes when we make something everybody's problem, we inadvertanly make it nobody's problem.

So go ahead and push the hand off metaphor. When handing off, don't just toss the ball at a clump of running backs, hoping that someone will get the ball and run with it.... purposefully hand the ball to one person, and try not to let go until you know they have it.

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