Are You a "Frank"?
Frank wants to lose weight so, just as any of us would, Frank begins to prepare his weightloss journey. In his plan, Frank wants to begin working out, however, he doesn’t want to purchase a gym membership before he can figure out how to eat healthy. Frank then decides he can’t eat healthy with all the junk food still in his pantry therefore, he decides to wait until all of the junk food has been eaten before starting his journey. Fast forward a few months later and Frank still has yet to begin his weightloss journey because he feels everything needs to be “perfect” in order to begin.
Many of us see ourselves in Frank but in regards to our work environment. Like Frank, many of us fall into the headspace of “everything needs to be perfect and then I’ll start”. What Frank, and ourselves, have failed to realize is the first step to any process is actually starting. While we may think the obsession of preparation is vital to success, it actually prolongs processes and stunts productivity. While this headspace is common among many different areas, it is extremely relevant when it comes to adopting new processes into our companies. Organizations lose a detrimental amount of productivity due to the obsession of having everything in the company perfect before bringing in a new and extremely beneficial software solution.
Doing Something is Better Than Nothing
Oftentimes, the state of products are misconstrued to make others believe they have to be perfected to be effective. This ideology, however, is far from the case. The majority of products, even the most efficient ones, consistently remain unperfected and unfinished. The reasoning behind this is, not because they are inadequate or fruitless, but because they always aim to reach perfection: a near-impossible feat. Assuming a process’ imperfection is synonymous with inefficiency is the first issue as this reality causes companies to miss out on extremely beneficial software solutions. These software solutions can still be a huge asset to a company despite a less-than-perfect process. It can also be a catalyst to make the change sooner.
An imperfect process still allows a company to implement a starting point; a place for opportunity. Even with the bare minimum in place, this allows you to start. Many remain under the impression that, before starting, all processes must be perfected. In reality, these processes will never be perfect; this allows them to continuously be beneficial. Starting with an imperfect process allows for flexibility among the product. Rather than having to form your operations around a software solution, an ever-changing process allows you to mold it to best benefit your day-to-day operations. In the long-run, this benefits the company much more than if you were to start with a perfect, unvarying process or if you were to wait for a perfect software solution.
Preparation Isn’t Always Key
Waiting for the perfect process will often harm a company more than it helps. With each passing period an ideal software remains unimplemented in your company, time, resources, and money are lost as your company continues to face low-production and endure the effects of these losses. While the mistake of waiting is often blamed on unfinished processes, it is also caused by a feeling of unpreparedness. Many refrain from implementing an ideal software solution due to the need to “figure it all out first”. By abstaining from taking the first step, you jeopardize all opportunities for growth. This can be shown through the Waterfall Method.
The Waterfall Method, in simple terms, means step one must be taken before step two. The development process will only begin if the previous phase has been completed. Contrastingly, the development process will be prolonged and adversely impacted if you continue to refrain from taking the first step. It is crucial to recognize that you will never be able to prepare enough or perfect an environment. Because of this, it’s more beneficial to just begin, assess what works and what doesn’t, and then adjust accordingly.
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