Friday, February 10, 2012

Lean Quote: Done is Better than Perfect

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Done is better than perfect." — Scott Allen

It's kind of like the old adage, "You can have it fast. You can have it cheap. Or you can have it perfect. But you only get to pick two".

Or, as someone else once said, "Don't let Perfect be the Enemy of Good." Striving for the highest quality you can (whether at work, home, or any endeavor) is great … but "can" has to include a time parameter. Something that never ships, is never finished, never gets done, is ultimately as useless as churning out something crappy.

Don’t spend your time trying to make things perfect. There will always be a few mistakes when you try to crank things out the best you can. Don’t do shoddy work, but don’t concern yourself with attempting to be perfect.

Lean is more about trial and error than the right tool for the job. It’s about what you learn and applying that knowledge to the problem. And it's better to get something done imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly.

In some situations, the happier course is to know when good enough is good enough and not to worry about perfection or making the perfect choice.

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