I have worked with perfectionists who treat tiny details serious enough to make a dent to project timelines and work plans. As it turned out, customers don’t notice these things and their appreciation is far less than the time spent to refine details.
What really matters?
The output valuable to businesses is what matters the most. The customer wants to see how their data is entered, processed and displayed in a way that makes their information retrieval and analysis fast and simple. I have already written that added value is bad project management and would like to emphasize that small things added incrementally are unwritten added values that could not get recognition and a hazard to meeting deadlines.
What are these small things?
Let’s take the context of developing software applications. Developers obsess on unnecessary details like placing flexible and configurable path files that won’t change in probably the next two versions, font types, perfect color hues, Ajax input boxes, intelligent auto suggestions in user inputs, avatars, animated tooltips, using optimized and complicated algorithms, etc. While these things are excellent and encouraged, the first and foremost priority of the project team is meeting the minimum requirements asked by the client. Unless they specifically requested for color hues, Ajax input, avatars and the like, the team should pay more attention to grabbing accurate data, ensuring they are processed correctly, exceptions handled gracefully and output displayed that would help the end user boost their productivity and overall value to the business.
There is nothing wrong in striving for perfection in everything we do; but aiming for this status across everything takes a lot of time that most project teams do not have the luxury of. Give the customer the output they need and strive for perfection on that area above anything else.
[tags]Management, Software Development[/tags]
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