Stop Perfecting and Proceed with Creating.
While watching a video today by Google’s chief priest of SEO Matt Cutts, I was reminded of one of my chief faults. Not everything that is less than perfect needs to be fixed.
Perfectionism as a process: The management process Six Sigma recognizes that all processes have less than perfect consistency. The goal of the process is to do at mathematical consistent expected levels.
The perfectionist as a manager: the worst case of perfection affecting performance I have seen was in a former supervisor. He placed so much emphasis on everything being exactly the way he wanted them that everyone struggled through countless changes to meet his expectations. Whether dealing with correspondence, maintenance, or production, he would continue to look for flaws in everything. He would insist that things be done to meet his idea of how they things should be done.
When this person left, his replacement was just the opposite in his management of people and requirements for perfection. He knew that he had intelligent, conscientious people working for him. He would carefully review the finished products and perhaps make changes. However, he also knew that countless unnecessary revisions were just a waste of time.
This principle could pertain to anything. Speaking at a WordPress WordCamp conference on search engine optimization, Matt Cutts was discussing how to format web addresses. He even commented that sometimes inconsistency between a web page title and the web address may draw more people to a web page, because the added words that result from the difference between the title and address offer search engine more information to use in response to a range of subjects search engine users enter. In this case, imperfection can be an asset and even slightly flawed web addresses are not generally worth going back and revising just for the sake of format.
Many things in ways in life and business are the same. It is inefficient to redo things every time we learn of a new way of doing them.
In my case, I may have a newsletter ready for circulation and discover a new format that might be more attractive. Redoing the newsletter might just be a waste of time compared to creating the next newsletter in the new format and leaving the completed project the way it has been completed.
This principle saves money and time and reduces the risk of errors.
Every time a company revises or reworks anything, the company spends money and creates delays. Additionally, some products may undergo changes that introduce errors that must be caught before the revised product can be released.
The principle reduces confusion and risk of error.
Changes of schedules in groups of people create confusion. Inevitably the more changes to a schedule will result in an increase in the likelihood that more people will fail to meet the schedule.
I first observed this when I was a young manager and there was a flight change involving eight people. No one got the information about the change. All eight people missed the flight. Having been involved in countless scheduling situations since that time, I have seen it happen countless times where inconsistency increased the risk of errors.
In my business, I developed a procedure which required that everyone who was involved in a scheduled event had to confirm with a reply in an email and select the reply all option for that email. Then I could confirm that everyone knew about the change and everyone knew about who had not confirmed.
The Best Efficiency Advice in the World: Stop Perfecting and Proceed with Creating. In conclusion, I am getting more done and the people who rely on me to give them advice and services are getting better value for their investment.