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So, what does this pic have to do with the story here? — Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

It was an exceptional Monday at our office. No one was on a business trip, and we even had time for a morning coffee together.

“It’s a great day today! My to-do list will be empty by lunch! Haa haa!” said Jaakko.

Suddenly his phone rang. “Greetings from the market research…” said the voice. Then came a second call. “Top of the morning from the supporters of This-and-That. May I have a moment of your time?” said the guy.

The coffee had time to grow cold, and then we got the daily mail. No I don’t mean email or the newspaper, we still get regular mail at times!

The logistics process of out postal office had had an error, and one of the envelopes was just a ripped up mess of confetti. Contract papers from a customer were missing. It was time to pick up the phone again and investigate.

“It’s lunchtime guys!” someone shouted at the front door. “What?! Noooo!” shouted Jaakko. “I haven’t done a single item on my to-do list yet.”

It was a typical morning when an abundance of annoying small things became a big issue.

Stories like this are a tool to discuss difficult things. They are a tool to spark a change of mindset because most people have an experience of similar annoying mornings.

Let me give you an example of a situation where I have used this story tool with success.

In software development, it is too easy to dismiss details that impact the big picture. As a testing professional, I’ve heard this priceless oneliner almost weekly.

“We don’t need to fix this. It’s just a small bug.”

The next time you hear something like this, take a step back. Tell this story or one of your own. And then see what happens.

Don’t let a flock of small things become the big thing!

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