In my role as Engineering Manager, I frequently play Keeper of the Process. Having worked effectively alongside plenty of agile #noplanning people (RIP Andrew), and carrying the scars of dysfunctional processes (oh, PRDs and OGSM), it feels historically out of character to lean into OKR scores and target dates. And I think I’ve made my peace with it.

When I was in high school, my friend’s dad Gary (RIP Gary) retired and bought a championship pool table. The pool table went in their living room and everything else came out. Nothing else fit. The room was a pool table and a stero, which Gary kept tuned to classic jazz. We played a lot of pool and listened to a lot of Charles Mingus.

The two games I remember playing most was 2-ball “English” and 9-ball. English is a “called” game; you have to say which ball and hole you’re aiming for before making the shot. 9-ball is played “slop”, as long as you hit the lowest-numbered ball first, it doesn’t matter which ball goes into which hole.

Both games have their techniques. Playing English I got really good at fine ball handling and putting a sidespin on the ball (that’s the “English”) and having a narrow intent. With 9-ball, I learned to do a lot of what we call a “textbook”-shot (I dunno why we gave only this one shot that name; we were 17). The shot was to bounce the ball off of as many alternating rails as possible until the ball eventually walked itself into a pocket. Just slam it really.

The point is, both of them were ok ways to play. They were just different. It’s fine.