The supply and demand of getting shit done

In organizations of all sizes, work to be done has both a supply side and a demand side. I mean this not in the customer-wants-your-product sense, but that for a given project, task, or other unit of work, the labor of defining and refining what is to be done requires a different set of skills, mentality, and goals than the labor of actually performing the work.

A product manager is (oversimplifying) on the demand side of what projects will be tackled for a given strategic initiative, and on the supply side for breaking projects down into subtasks, dividing the work amongst teams, and providing feedback to the folks doing the delivery work on needed changes.

You can probably think of a dozen examples of this dynamic in your own organization, particularly if it’s a hierarchical one. More interesting to consider, though, is: how do you apply this to your own self, and your own work?

It’s useful to give yourself some definition around what kind of work you’re doing right now. Are you in supply-side mode, or demand-side mode? Are you defining the work, or doing the work? Are you thinking about the big picture, or the details? Are you thinking about the future, or the present?

The most important part of this is to be deliberate about what mindset you’re currently working in. Blending these is like any other kind of multitasking: doable in a pinch, but suboptimal for everything you’re working on.

Did that make your day a little better?

I write every weekday, and many weekends. Subscribe here and you'll get new posts straight to your inbox, just like that.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.