Gardening The Problem

In which I realise that a metaphor of gardening may be be a useful way to think about the work we do.

This place isn’t set up to meet user needs. In it’s organisation, it’s structure, the motivations of people at various levels. User needs do not always naturally rise to the surface.

Our work most have a component which is aimed at changing that, whilst at the same time acknowledging that the task may be endless. This is not a counsel of despair, change is possible, but expecting immediate results may lead to painful disappointment.

The metaphor we look to is that of tending a garden.

It is not that the garden is working against us, or that we are “at war” with the garden, but we acknowledge that left to it’s own devices it will become overgrown and move away from how we’d like it to be.

This is a natural process, as gardeners we don’t bemoan it, but rather accept that it will happen, and accept that our work is to attempt to counter that process and bring the garden closer to how we’d like it to be.

No gardener is in complete control, and no gardener has a perfect and exhaustive plan for how they would like the garden to be. They move around sorting out smaller problems here and there.

They may plan and execute larger works at times too, but they are aware that nothing will remain how they leave it, everything is changing constantly.