Do you have too much work for too few people? Many companies have, according to a recent study.
Too much work often means rushing the task at hand or frequent task switches, which leads to mistakes and often costly rework. It also leads to stress and frustration among staff, and may lead to unhappy customers as a result of defects or missed deadlines.
By doing too much you’re less productive than you could be! So start doing less now. Decide which are the most valuable objectives and focus on those to the exclusion of others.
Doing less gives you a chance of doing right. With doing right I mean both ‘doing the right things’ and ‘doing things right’.
Doing the right things
Everyone has their own views on what is right and what is not. The important thing is to focus on doing what is right to you. I quite like Tim Leberecht’s view on doing the right things and building a business that doesn’t bury the humans at its core. For myself, doing right means doing it sustainably: the work pace must be sustainable for myself, the team and the client; and the full life cycle costs must be considered as part of the business case.
Doing things right
For me, doing things right means a strong focus on quality. Compromising on quality may give you a short-term benefit but almost always hurts in the long term. That does not mean that I am obsessive about quality, rather it means that I err on the side of caution.
Doing things right also means understanding what the stakeholders need, and delivering that. That includes delivering on time and within budget, if these are relevant requirements – and I can’t remember when they were not.