Never get in the way of people with the momentum to get things done

Most of us have productivity swings. Some weeks you are energized and getting things done. Then the next project just seems to drag on and on. Slumps and burnout happen. But usually at least one person on the team still has some momentum going. 

Don’t slow them down. Do what you can to assist in their effort. Don’t think you have to operate as effectively as they are this week. It can be intimidating to see another person delivering more value than you. Don’t hit yourself thinking “If only I was more motivated I could outperform Jack.” 

Software engineering is not a coding competition. Success or failure is evaluated at the product level by our customers. Which member of your team delivered the most story points this sprint is complete irrelevant to customers. They don’t know and wouldn’t even care if they did. 

Customers care about what your engineering organization does as a whole. Which features are shipped, how stable is the service, how good is the user onboarding, these things matter to customers. You aren’t signing each line of code for customers to look at. They don’t have a favorite programmer on the product. 

Your goal is to enhance your team’s efforts as much as possible. That is achieved by following the momentum and supporting it, to get things done . 

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