Conscious Execution

Successful execution starts with the proper setup. Assuming the estimation is accurate, you’ll have plenty of “runway” to see the project through. Conscious coding involves not just checking off all the boxes, but acknowledging that unplanned distractions or change can occur. Here are the four roadblocks of execution.


One distraction of project execution carries an extreme risk of causing the project to fail. Imagine driving down the freeway with a leaking gas tank. Short of pulling over to refill, you may not reach the destination. Two solutions can address changes in money available.

  1. Adjust the priorities to take away bells & whistles to produce a product that is partially usable earlier despite the change. Taking individuals off a project is difficult, but instead of working in parallel, which burns money faster, do the steps sequentially so when budget frees up, the other work can pick up following delivery.
  2. Create more payment dates. Adding a payment plan carries a risk of creating a balance toward the end of a project, but if the #1 goal is an executed project, then both parties can conceivably push the risk later in the process.


Increasing check-ins can reduce miscommunications period. Not all projects need day-to-day conversation, but at least one check-in per week is required. There might be an assumption that longer projects can go longer without an update, but the reverse is true; Here’s why:

Multiple delays can have a domino effect toward the end goal. Larger projects can be derailed if too many of these occur, so it’s important to stay in the loop, even more so during longer, more complex engagements.

Servant Leadership

As workers are increasingly remote as a result of COVID-19, pandemics, and natural disasters, co-workers separated by several hours can result in silos within a team. Servant leadership is the only way to bridge certain differences. In some cases, try and schedule everyone to use the same shift to get more cohesion. Time differences also create differences in holiday calendars, but a servant leader must be willing to check in longer (even earlier),  perhaps when others have checked out for the day.

If working across time zones is a must, locate creative team members further west so they can begin earlier and deliver items to be executed later in the day. Conscious Planning can allow this collaboration, but it is not always possible. Ultimately, it falls on the dev lead to work tirelessly to make sure nobody is left out of the loop.


I wanted to emphasize that culture doesn’t mean that your team has to be homogenous in culture. Team culture should prioritize diversity, inclusion, and conscious coding. That also doesn’t mean having a superhuman work ethic. Team members should appreciate what each member brings to the table, whether they work 30 hours or 80 hours – a shared appreciation of values doesn’t hurt either. As in every business, customer service should be #1. Find exceptional candidates for the job not just using a job description, but the type of person you want to be around.

There’s no fancy diagram or process to make you understand the importance of these pillars working together to execute. The only way is to expect that timelines, budgets, and people don’t always go according to plan, and to adjust accordingly. Only then can you execute sustainably.

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Post Author: Kevin

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