The problem, as I discovered at promotion time, was that none of this was quantifiable. I couldn’t prove that anything I did had a positive impact
For example, my team was receiving tons of distracting email alerts due to false alarms. Old me would have just fixed these alerts. But now I knew that for this work to appear in my promo packet, I should first set up metrics so that we’d have historical records of alert frequency. At promotion time, I’d have an impressive-looking graph of the alerts trending downward.
I adopted a new strategy. Before starting any task, I asked myself whether it would help my case for promotion. If the answer was no, I didn’t do it.