It’s never just

Just do it.
Just build it.
It’s just a bit of copy.
It’s just a tweak of the design.
It’s just a line of code.

Just, just, just, just; just!
The reality is it’s never ‘just’.

There’s often more to it than other people are aware of and sometimes even to yourself. It’s only when we start to delve into the detail do we fuller appreciate the complexity and the questions things raise.

Working in teams I’ve heard this adverb commonly used and while it might seem innocuous, it can be dismissive and undermine the value of your and your colleagues work.

What value does ‘just’ really add? Do we need to say it as often as we do?

“Have you just tried displaying the date as non editable text?”
“Have you tried displaying the date as non editable text?

During the planning sessions of one team I worked with we would knock on the table when someone used “just” about a ticket of work – “It’s just a bit of copy.” This evolved into something we joked about but it helped unite the team, increasing appreciation for the value of what we all contributed as individuals.

And it didn’t start there, it seeped out into other teams and into the organisation and stakeholders as well.

It’s never just, just.