Rules of engagement

There is a certain set of mistakes I tend to do repeatedly. Almost inevitably they hit me in the back. Whenever I ignore them, I will regret that later.

Therefore i started to formulate some rules in my head to keep reminding me to act in a certain way and to handle things. It often turned out wise if I had followed them instead of ignoring them. In the professional work environment as well as privately those abstracts seem to work quite well in certain areas.

But I have so far never formulated them in writing.

This is my attempt.

  1. Clean up:

    When you are done with whatever you did, clean up after you. Undo everything that you have created, changed or removed or moved for using. Other team members will appreciate to find everything in order and as expected.

  2. Reset your environment:

    This is close to Clean up. Put things back to where you got them or where they are supposed to be. Keep everything at places where you know they should be.

  3. Fix immediately

    Address small problems right away. Unless it takes quite long to fix an issue, small problems should be corrected immediately. Do not move the problem to a different location instead.

  4. Improve immediately

    If you get an idea for a change that will improve the current situation: Do it! There will not come a better time to make a change.

  5. Learn

    If something does not work as expected, stop and figure out what you did not understand. Learn about the topic and context see where and why the expectation was wrong.

  6. Make mistakes

    Do not be afraid to make mistakes and to be wrong. Find out what works and what does not. If something breaks, it was not stable enough at the first hand.

  7. Document it:

    Whatever you do, document it. Especially when working in a team, somebody will need that information at some critical point in time.

  8. Own your stuff:

    Take responsibility of your stuff. If you want to address something that is not yours, make sure it is really an issue for you before you start working on it. There is no need to solve anything that is not a problem for you. Know what to work on and what not.

  9. Do it all:

    It is not enough, just to know what you need to work on. You also need to do it completely. The part that you think you might not need; that’s the part that you will need most later one when you do not have time enough to get it done then. So just walk the extra mile and pull through to the end.