Not Perfect

Deliver a not-perfect project. 

In the previous few posts, I have written about the enabled-user. This is the person (people) who receive the results of your project, and their lives are changed. With the results of what you have completed, these people are now able to do something that they could not previously do. Maybe they are trained in a way that they were not before. Maybe their business has new capabilities or has been opened to new areas. 

If your project is going to enable people, you will need to do finish work to a point where it is good enough to move on. (Idea from Craig Groeschel.) If you try to deliver perfect work, you will never have your maximum impact. You may provide a perfect project at some point, but the opportunity cost will be far greater than the benefit of any project you could ever deliver.

Let’s look at the math: 

  • You could deliver a single perfect project that enables an employee to be 4% more productive. 
  • In the same timeframe, you could have completed two imperfect projects that improve productivity by 2.1% each project (a total of 4.2% increase in productivity.

Which result is better? If your metric is that the project must be perfect (for example, if you are entering a project awards contest), then the first project is better. On the other hand, if your metric is that you are trying to improve productivity, you should choose the two imperfect projects. You will learn more from the imperfect projects, and you will be ahead in your productivity. 

Choose to be not-perfect. It is the best way to win.