"I Got It to Work"

I have a number of stories, anecdotes, sayings, analogies, etc. to which I often return in my work as an IT management person. This is the way my brain operates, but I think they’re at least usually insightful, or I wouldn’t bother. Sometimes I’m told that they make sense, or even that someone else wants to borrow one for their own use. Perhaps I should label myself a Thought Leader and start charging admission.

Here’s a favorite, and it’s free:

“I got it to work” sounds like a good thing, but it isn’t. To me, “I got it to work” also means:

  • I don’t really know how it’s working.
  • I don’t really know that it will keep working.
  • I don’t really know what to do if it stops working.

Image of Duct Tape

As with most things, this is just as true of Not-Computers as it is true of Computers.

I believe we can know why a thing is designed to work as it does, understand the inherent and assumed concepts involved, develop a thoughtful and meaningful approach for how the thing can provide utility, and purposefully create the conditions where that utility can be delivered in an efficient and sustainable way. Thought Leadership.

OK. But I live in the real world, and I understand we have tight timeframes and unrealistic demands on our time.

So, perhaps a compromise: “I got it to work, but this is a documented workaround. We’ll have to dig into it more before we depend on this going forward.”

But until that time (if it ever comes), there is risk, and it’s wise to acknowledge and own it. It might be better to take the time now to really understand what’s going on.