Friday, July 14, 2017

Wearing Many Hats

When I first started working with ANSI/HITSP over a decade ago, one of the things I remarked upon to several people was the outstanding ability of John Halamka to wear many hats, and to make it clear which hat he was wearing when he was speaking, and his general ability to be wearing the right hat for the right audience.

It's a tricky challenge, and quite a juggling act.  I don't do it nearly as well as John does, but have been doing it a great deal over the last 18 months.  These are just a few of them in approximate rank order based on time investment (though not necessarily personal preference):
  1. Patient Advocate
  2. Architect Owner
  3. Product Owner
  4. Subject Matter Expert [Health IT Standards & Regs]
  5. Informaticist
  6. Software Developer
  7. Engineering Manager
  8. Thought Leader
  9. Student
  10. Teacher
  11. HL7 Board Member
  12. HL7 Member
  13. IHE Member
  14. Document Writer

I often find my various hats being at war with each other.  My software developer side wants to argue with my SME side, or sometimes I find my IHE side needs defending from one of my HL7 roles or ...

When that happens, it is very challenging to understand how to resolve the problem.  The pragmatist and the purist at war is not pretty.  Purism has its place, as does pragmatism.  Perfect is the enemy of the good goes to battle against applying the time to do it right as compared to the time to do it over.

How do I resolve this?  I've begun to discover that the final hidden role is that of customer advocate. That jumps to number 2 on my list.  Where Patient Advocate cannot break the tie or bring peace, Customer Advocate often can.

What roles do you play?  How do you reconcile them?


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