Identifying Your #1

As a twenty-something year old programmer wannabe, I had the great fortune of participating in my company's initial offshore development adventure of strategically expanding our product offerings.

This project had rapid launch goals which required outside help to achieve. We were four months into building our vendor relationship, and our arms were locked with our new Mumbai-based development team.

That morning’s commute to SEEPZ in Andheri was like any other when then Datastream CTO, Fury Christ, turned to me and asked, “What’s your #1 problem?”

Taken back a bit, I initially thought, “My gosh man, we are doing revolutionizing work here. We’re in the trenches, carnage everywhere, on the fly decision making…pick a problem, any problem…can’t you see?” My actual response was a safe answer. I identified a problem to which the solution was already within reach.

Unbeknownst to Fury, this encounter became a profound marker in my career. That simple question would become fundamental to how I managed and worked through my to-do lists. Equally important was the accountability that his bold question offered me.

Fast forward a couple decades and I’m still challenged by my friend’s question. I continuously reflect on tasks in front of me and try to ask the tough question: Have I identified my highest priority, largest obstacle, or biggest opportunity?

During project work, we often talk about low-hanging fruit, but I caution you to train yourself differently. Ask yourself: am I currently dealing with dragons that need to be slain first or simply swatting at flies because they are easier?

What’s your #1?

Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.

About Tim: Tim Latta is a Technical Solutions Architect for Advoco. He has been with Advoco for eight years, but has been building EAM solutions since 1996. Tim enjoys dreaming up big ideas, working through the details, and mentoring others along the way. When Tim isn’t helping our clients maximize their Infor EAM system, he’s with his family or out on a run. Tim is Advoco’s resident running enthusiast – you can catch him on the Swamp Rabbit Trail during lunch and encouraging the Advoco team to sign up for road races together. Have a question for Tim? Send him an email!


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