eye on the ball

Doing Something
Is Better Than Doing Nothing at All

There are times where uncertainty is high, the process is not suitable and the risk of missed deadlines looms on the horizon.

This is when we find ourselves in a sort of no man’s land, where everyone is terrified to make the call. At this point it’s important to note that inaction is a collective decision that we must all live with for the remainder of the project. More often than not, doing nothing puts your team on edge and produces an extraordinary amount of avoidable stress.

A manager once told me that even if you make the best decision today, chances are that it will be revised at a later time. From this I understood the importance of balancing facts, urgency and foresight. Don’t try to make the ultimate decision that will cover all your bases. Failing at making the best choice today, will provide you with insight that will influence subsequent decisions. This process is iterative and must be driven by a vision.

The important thing to remember here is that attaining your goal is more important than how you reach you goal. Keep your eye on the ball.

On the path to achieving a goal, your team may adjust and course correct multiple times. Keep an eye out for irritants, blockers, delays and process issues. Address them quickly and keep moving forward. A decision made today may provide further details about the root cause. In turn, providing you with the tools necessary to keep your team motivated and on track.

I find Kanban to be very effective at identifying improvement opportunities. It highlights slowdowns and process issues. But most important of all, it allows you to continuously observe and adapt your process.

Teams that adopted this “can do” attitude have reaped the benefits of lower stress levels, better quality and better flow.

Encouraging teams to learn from their mistakes empowers individual team members to speak up and take ownership. This ultimately results in rich opportunities that would have gone unnoticed.

Ideas, solutions, challenges and opportunities have to originate from everyone on a team. I personally love discussions based on facts. These discussions typically start by exposing a challenge and ends with a plan of action. It’s important to keep these brief and on topic. The best way I have found to achieve this, is to be prepared. Schedule a talk a head of time. Detail the topics and be ready to make a call. Don’t worry, make the best call based on the facts at hand. Test your hypothesis and iterate.

Acting sooner rather than later will allow you to be agile and adapt to unforeseen events.

Remember, keep your eye on the ball and seize the opportunity to define your fate. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

One response to Doing Something is Better Than Doing Nothing at All

  1. 

    There’s an assumption though. Doing something than nothing is no good if you hardly understand what’s happening :) One of the key ideas of the “Black Swan” by Nasim Taleb.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s