On zeros

Not a math post, I promise. Really about teams.

You have a team of people. You have a mission. You have a (short) timeline. You need them to focus on the problem, and find the minimum temporal path length process to achieve a resolution. You have a process, albeit informal, to address issues, which is in place, functioning well, solving problems.

Then someone loops someone else into the effort. Who starts quoting paragraph and verse out of how they would like it to work. Instead of helping with the effort as they’ve been asked to.

In games these are NPC, non-player/playable characters. They do not add to the experience. They are just … there.

In engineering teams and organizations, they are zeros. If you waste time interacting with them, they become negatives, if their efforts are not advancing towards the end goal. Generally, they are not.

I could use fewer of them. I really could.