I could have titled this entry “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”, but that’s too boring. I’ve written before about serendipity and hit it again in the past week. At work, I’m looking at modeling and enhancing our processes in the large. By this I mean that as part of getting a handle on the organization, I’m putting together a diagram and description of our core process from acquiring prospects, through turning those prospects into customers, through starting and completing the project and billing those customers. Basically, the lifeblood of the consulting firm.
As I’m doing so, I’m looking at ways to optimize different parts of the process, and coming across a typical issue: that of building a plane while it’s in the air. <g> My default approach is to put together a team of people from across the company and work with them to put together any changes, and then roll it out across the company. However, we have a number of projects (thankfully) that are in flight and finding people with the time right now is hard. That leaves me with two choices – wait till some people can be freed up, or write up the new approach myself, set up the templates, systems, etc., and then have some people review it and roll it out knowing that it won’t benefit from the buy-in and extra eyes that doing it my preferred way would bring, but that it will provide some real benefits at the same time.
On the serendipity front, I went to the Seattle Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival this weekend. My favorite film (and the one that won the audience favorite award) was called Time Freak. It was about a guy who was so caught up in making the day before he invented his time machine perfect, that he’s been reliving that day over and over for weeks, just trying to get everything right.
At the same time, I finally got around to reading and finishing Stephen King’s latest book: 11/22/63 on my Kindle. In the book, a person is given a way to go back in time to the same moment in the late 50s. He can change history, but if he goes back in time again, it all resets. He decides to try to change the Kennedy assassination (among other things), but each time he goes back, it will cost him at least 5 years. He is continuously wrestling with the same issue – get it perfect, or good enough? And what, exactly, is “good enough”?
Anyway, as you can probably tell, working with some of the folks at ECWise, I’ve put together a set of strawman documents, and we’ll be getting the leadership together to look at them and make changes before presenting them to the larger company. As part of it, I’m going to make a commitment that as certain things happen, we’ll move to a more inclusive design process for these things across the company.
My basic belief is that while I’m a fairly smart guy, the massed brain power at ECWise is so much smarter than I am, that the goal is to unleash it not just for our customers, but continuously for ourselves as well.
Anyway, just a quick “lift my head up and tell you what’s going on” type of post…