Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When doing Less is Best

Last Post, I discussed when doing more is better, this week I am taking on when doing less is best. So when should we do less?

There are times when doing less is an excellent strategy. Conversely doing more is often a good one.

So how do you choose?

Do less when you the task at hand is not important
Do more when the task at hand is important

Do less when you ahead of schedule, do more when you are behind
Do more at the end, and less at the beginning.

1 comment:

Fred said...

I think Terry is to wise to juxtapose these two extremes of doing more and less in direct comparison. Like many things in life, we need a balance between the two, and maintaining an equilibrium is an art that we - or at least I - struggle with. I think doing more is essential on important things, at least initially, so that can establish momentum and have a sense of self-fulfilling engagement. If we do too little initially, we tend to worry about it because we're not even sure of the scope that might be involved. Worry engenders paralysis, so that we could go from doing little to doing nothing. What I've observed on big development projects is that organizations tend to do too little in the design phase of thinking strategically and iteratively about what is needed and what direction the project should take; consequently projects too often go down the wrong path with much less than optimum design that doesn't meet the needs of the customers and end up over schedule and over budget, or worse yet, never get completed in a satisfactory manner at all. But Terry's point is well taken that we need a balance and a strategy for handling doing more or less.