Kristian Glass - Do I Smell Burning?

Mostly technical things

Removing Myself From the Equation

Through circumstance and history, there’s a bunch of tasks and procedures for which I’m either the only one on my team who knows how to do them, or at least the local expert who does them most frequently.

For the sake of my team’s autonomy, resilience, and ability to evolve these processes, it’s important that this knowledge and experience isn’t confined to just me.

So here’s what I generally do to change that:

  • Document it, making sure to include why (even if I don’t necessarily know)
  • Get A to do it using my instructions, with me supporting as necessary
  • Ensure the documentation is updated with anything learned
  • Get B to do it using the documentation, with A supporting as necessary, resorting to me only if absolutely necessary
  • Ensure the documentation is updated with anything learned

At this point, there’s two people not me who can do the thing, and three people’s knowledge and perspectives wrapped up in the documentation. To the pub! Success!

This isn’t ground-breaking, it isn’t universal, it isn’t perfect, but explicit and documented systems help me, and I hope it helps others too.

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