World Zen


Today was a strange day for communication…

Back in 2000something, I did a project for an intermediary. I don’t remember the details, but I was making software for sure. When it was all done, I delivered the project, and hoped to get payed.

Unfortunately, the intermediary’s customer, who was paying for this project, got in some financial trouble and could not pay the bills. They resorted to what sometimes happens in business land: They started pushing.

Then intermediary called me, asking if I knew anything of ‘unfinished tasks’?

Unfinished tasks? Did I miss something? Did something go wrong or not work? Did they get the right version? I panicked somewhat, and asked what was going on. The customer had looked into the source files of the project and discovered several comment lines stating the word ‘TODO’. Customer reasoned that this must mean there are unfinished tasks, so payment was not yet due.

The situation escalated, but at some point the customer found last minute capital and was finally able to actually pay, and everything turned out just fine.

In hindsight this was a bit ridiculous, and not really something to worry about, but, I did learn a few things. One is not to leave any ‘TODO’ comments in your code. Also using frivolous filenames containing words like ‘shit’ or ‘junk’ could be misunderstood by financially troubled customers, or other people that don’t really understand the details.

Fast forward to today.

A meeting with a customer got very heated when they were trying to move administration of all remaining tasks to Asana. I have no problem with Asana, but the fear of people misunderstanding things and abusing that kind of information is still there.

So I strongly opposed this. Also, this is a very small project, and I’m the entire development department, so there isn’t really a big need to do everything in a public space that much. And, the faster we can work, the better, so any distraction is bad.

After that meeting I started thinking…

Chances are that here I am the one holding up the project because of this fear.

As I was organizing all the leftover tasks and user issues, I ended up with my trusty TODO list textfile. Now, how can I transmit this information to the designers so they can help, and also give some sort of indication of what’s still in the pipeline, and make sure it won’t be lifted out of context…

After almost half an hour of contemplating all issues, the sound of ‘Just put it all in Asana’ became more and more sensible and inevitable.


So I did that. Described all the issues as clearly as humanly possible, and put them all up in Asana.

Let’s see how it goes, right?

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