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You Might Be a Bottleneck If…

bottleneckYou know what a bottleneck is, right? In this context, a bottleneck is a stage in a process where progress is retarded or blocked. Bottlenecks can slow down software development teams to the point where failure becomes imminent. Bottlenecks are all too common. They can be caused by anyone who tries to do the right thing but goes about it the wrong way.

Here are some of the many ways that you might be a bottleneck. Do any of them sound familiar?

  • You might be a bottleneck if you ever take more than a few hours to respond to an important email message.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you ever spend extra time making your code “perfect”.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you tend to call meetings every time a question surfaces.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you seek approval before making every decision.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you take time to examine every situation in-depth before making a decision.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you look for group consensus before acting.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you review documents needing approval only on weekends.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you are in meetings all day every day and expect your direct reports to drop by when they have questions.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you’re on the road a lot and expect your team to run things by you.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you rarely return phone calls.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you expect PowerPoint presentations every time an issue needs discussion.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you expect your team to move like a Ferrari and you outfit them like a school bus.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you determine the value of documentation by its “thud” factor.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you like having a huge backlog of work that you’ll likely never get to.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you often pull someone off the team to work on something unrelated.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you are working on several projects at once.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you make people jump through hoops to request any kind of software change.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you tell someone to schedule a meeting with you knowing your calendar is usually full.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you expect to be in the loop for everything that happens on the project.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you feel the need to refactor every piece of code you work on.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you’re chronically late for meetings.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you believe your phone is more important than the person you’re speaking to.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you find satisfaction telling people why something can’t be done or won’t work.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you protect information, keeping it to yourself rather than sharing.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you go on vacation and expect the team to wait for your return.
  • You might be a bottleneck if you allow your untested code to be deployed into production.

Get the idea? Don’t be a bottleneck. Do you have any other examples? Leave a comment.

A shoutout to the fabulous comedian, Jeff Foxworthy for inspiring this blog post.

photo credit: Krissy Mayhew via photopin cc

Updated: September 4, 2013 — 9:58 pm
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