How do you measure the impact of your work?
How do you determine what changes in the codebase have more impact / bring more value?
Recently, this post and some discussions with colleagues about performance review made me think about the nature of impactful work.
In many blog posts and feedbacks you can read and hear about
Efficiency and Effectiveness Doing [things right vs doing the right things), about prioritisation and focus.
And many experienced developer have a natural sense of all this.
But... how can we describe it properly?
Amidst lots of ticket in the backlog, or lots of todos in a repository, or simply by looking at a piece of code, how do you determine what work / changes or refactoring bring more value and have more impact? (I am not talking about what has more visibility, neither the importance of the product itself - does a MedTech app have more value or impact than a FinTech app or a game?)
How can we tell / teach someone to understand what is the right thing to do?
Doing the right thing, choosing to work on something that has more value and impact work is not easy, if you have no clear picture of what is right and important or you don't share the same values.
How can we figure it out?
How can we describe to others something that is so clear for us, yet so vague?
How can we teach this skill to others?
What guidelines can be given to enable developers to discern important stuff that has priority from important stuff that has less priority, or less important stuff that has high priority?