Michael Kusters poses The Fireman's dilemma:
The hero who saved the day will make headline news. The person who did background work to prevent hundreds of fires goes unnoticed, and may even face scrutiny for that one fire which occurred despite their best efforts.
This dilemma affects the entire #Agile space: Developers, coaches - and even managers.
A coach's value is often only seen by managers and developers who have been in constant firefighting mode for years. Their feedback is often, "it's so calm ... what happened?"
Developers suddenly find themselves doing a lot less overtime and much fewer conversations with irate users - and managers suddenly realize their calendar has free spots because the constant escalations disappeared.
But environments that cherish and reward acts of heroism don't see that as an advantage. They're looking for heroic firefighters, and there's just no need for a hero when there's no princess in peril.
And they show disregard for those developers who aren't "doing whatever it takes." And they diminish the influence of managers who aren't de-escalating crisis after crisis.
Question 1: Do you see these expectations of saving the day?
Question 2: How do you address them?
I respond as follows:
Some people say "Just build it right the first time." or "Life has no "Reset" button. There are no Do-overs!"
When iteration is morally wrong, Superman is evil if he doesn't save every person, every moment, forever.
Question 1 Reply: You describe default culture. Yes, I see the FireFighters dilemma at every client and employer I encounter.
Question 2 Reply: I address it by going Meta on it. I declare the fire to permanently put it in the metaphoric Fire-Fighting Dilemma Fire. We stoke that fire with Kudos Cards Economy (a game documented by Jurgen Appelo) which moves human systems dynamics from pandemic apathy toward the mission of the enterprise, to a sub-optimization of the Now-Self-Money-Fame-Game. We starve that fire with Kudos Improvement Cards Economy (a game hinted at by Sterman & Penning's Nobody Ever Gets Credit For Fixing Problems That Never Happened ...until they actually DO!). https://web.mit.edu/nelsonr/www/Repenning=Sterman_CMR_su01_.pdf