Steve Fenton

Context. Autonomy. Trust.

Being a good leader means you need a CAT-friendly environment. If you want a team of professionals to do good work, you need to give them plenty of context. If they know what you want to achieve, why you want to do it and what the constraints are – you can leave them to do the right thing.

Context is a vision. A sketch of the future. It isn’t an architecture or a design pattern or a specific technology or “an app” or “a website”. It is the answer to repeating the question “why?” a whole bunch of times until you find the real reason you are going to expend effort in making something.

Bad context includes statements like “it must be web-based“. You haven’t dug deep enough on that one. Maybe you mean “it should be available on any device” or “all of the user’s devices” or “it should be easy to deploy” or something else that you think you would solve by making it web-based (but the team may know of better ways – there are more of them and this is their speciality – right?).

Don’t be the driver stood looking at your car telling the mechanic how to fix it. Trust them to find the fault and then call you to discuss the cost of fixing it. Yes – you decide whether it is even worth fixing and if it is, which of the cost options you are happy with.

This is all about trusting people to do their job. Without this, no professional will tolerate the working environment. Know your roles and trust the people to do it right and coach them when they make mistakes.

Written by Steve Fenton on