I once worked on a project that was… Not very exciting. It had its problems, but it wasn’t the worst. It had some things going for it, but none were exciting or ground-breaking. We did our best to test and build in quality, but there were many aspects that the client just didn’t care about or want to dedicate resources to.
I remember talking to a teammate about it; sharing our feelings and motivations (or lack thereof).
“Do you know who George Foreman is?” I asked.
George Foreman was a professional boxer, who went on to be the face of a cooking appliance that was very successful in the late 90s and 00s – the George Foreman Grill.
“In the advert, he says: I’m so proud of it, I put my name on it! I would not put my name on this project.”
Ever since then, George’s catchphrase has been a great heuristic for me to check in with myself, and gauge:
- How proud am I to be on this project?
- What’s the quality of our work, and what we’re putting out into the world?
- Am I happy to be associated with this project / would I openly tell people I’ve worked on it?
- How satisfied am I with the quality of this project?
From there, I can drill down further to understand the reasons, and possible actions to take.
What quick heuristics have you developed or used to check in with yourself? Please share them in the comments.