The Thing-Fixing Manifesto

I fix things to prevent the sadness and anger that preventable failures bring.

Everything is a fix, there’s no such thing as a project that’s completely new. I’m fixing something, even if that something is just “the old way of doing things.”

Size doesn’t matter. The small failures tell us about the looming large ones; so they are equally important. I go after the small stuff, because the small stuff is the big stuff.

It doesn’t matter what needs fixing. Nothing is more special than anything else. I work all the problems, unless someone else (who is available) can fix it better than I can.

I’ll fix things with anything — technology, design, tools, process, leadership, management, hammers, duct tape, reports, customer interaction, requirements analysis, whatever. No single solution or approach is sacred.

I’ll develop and deliver training and education, and get people the tools and materials they need. Fixing people isn’t a thing, but providing them what they need to be successful certainly is.

I’ll burn everything down and start over if that’s what’s really needed (it almost never is).

I’ll dig down and understand what’s going on from the bottom up, documented or not, in order to make sure fixes don’t break other things.

I’ll create testable solutions, even if that means building the environments, methodologies, tools, and automation from nothing. You can’t fix what you can’t measure.

While I’m fixing it, I’m going to take steps to ensure future changes are easier to make; because denying something the ability to easily change is the one certain way to ensure it will be abandoned in the future.

I’ll use tools and build in ways to be able to quickly iterate, because I know I won’t get it right the first time — and even if I do get it right, I know the definition “right” will change in the future.

When things do fail, I’ll do failure analysis with however many “whys” it takes, and leverage iteration to fix the failure before next time.

Sometimes fixing things is hard. Sometimes I’ll find myself upset, exhausted, frustrated, confused, stressed, worried, or (often) all of these at once. That’s okay. Fixing things is an acceptable challenge; accepting preventable failure (and the pain that comes with it) is not.

Whatever the challenge is, I’ll attack it until everything’s fixed or until I’m unable to make progress at an acceptable rate.

If I can’t make progress, I get out of the way. Someone else can fix it, and there’s no shortage of other things I can go fix.

I was inspired to write this while working on a separate post, Why I Fix Things. You should check it out!

Thanks for reading!

Co-Founder, Liquid Genius