The one thing we all take for granted is that change is inevitable. If we look around our desks for just one minute we will see the agents of change in every corner.
Our day is filled with making changes, telling people about the changes, hearing about changes, challenging changes other are trying to make, responding to changes that got out of hand, resetting changes and completely missing changes we should have noticed.
We don’t stop and ponder the change in isolation. We see the entirety that exists now and we imagine the new entirely that will exist soon. We frequently worry about change it terms of the coming wholeness rather than the incremental difference.
We make laws with sweeping provisions but rarely do they affect many people and even those affected are hardly inconvenienced. Take “texting” while driving: most people don’t do that and those that do are few and, yes reckless, and deserve to be punished. But some look on this as an insidious infringement on their first amendment rights. No room for commonsense only extreme reactions.
To delay or defer a change some people look for what will go wrong and how the worst case will impact them. They seek the extreme corner cases and extrapolate the most sinister outcomes.
Technology life is like that too. “This new release will change everything we do and will result in lost orders, customer dissatisfaction and employees will quit!” we might hear even before the requirements are written and a single line of code has been changed.
Some changes are disastrous but no one starts out with that as their objective. When changes go wrong, and they do of course, it is not the change that was bad but the process that allowed a bad change to be delivered.
We have to find a way to embrace change and see it for what it is: incremental improvement. That means focusing on what is different: asking what the impact of each element is and quantifying it. Wouldn’t you rather be dealing with exceptions rather than mundane and repetitive tasks.
Embrace change or be left behind.