How many times have we been in a situation where we are forced to redo something that we felt that we have completed the first time around? How many times have we felt despair and dejected in revisiting the same pages of the project we thought was completed the first time around and endure the pain of rewriting and reediting it once again? We’ve all had our good times and bad times. Sometimes we get it right the first time around. Sometimes we toil and toil, redoing and reediting it again and again till we get it right. It is always a pleasant feeling to be in former category rather than in the latter category. However I feel that there are options in front of us to ensure that we can make the situation to the best of our advantage.
One of the ways in which one can avoid the repeatability disease is to ‘Plan First’. It is highly essential to take your own time and understand the project at hand, research it well, understand and define boundaries around it. Once this is done, a picture of the end product begins to emerge.. Having that picture in mind, develop and define your product, iterating along the way. Once the product is completed, a thorough review should be done and the product should be advertised in a way that shows its pros vehemently. If the marketing of the product is done right, its flaws would either be too insignificant to warrant a re-work and the author will be commended in getting the job done well. One example of this approach is done by Apple whenever they release a product. Apple takes a long time to patiently and painstakingly design and define or improve on a product category. This is to ensure that flaws are kept to a minimum and the consumers are wowed in the beginning itself. Having a completed product with no glaring defects ensures reputation and respect which in turn ensures that a premium capital is obtained from the product. Apple has been very successful in this criteria whenever they have designed hardware like the iPod, iPhone or the iPad.
The second option to take is to accept the fact that ‘iterations with constant feedback’ is necessary to ensure a class product is developed. In this approach, each product/project is given a long term view and is developed with constant/continuous changes with constant or regular feedback. This ensures that time between development cycles is minimum and constant refining of the product happens. Engaging the audience or the referee consistently would ensure that the product is refined just like a potter improves his clay masterpiece in the potter’s wheel. Constant engagement and refinement are arduous and expensive, however this within an environment of loyal and patient audience would prove highly successful. Microsoft is known be in this category especially while developing software. This constant and consistent refinement of its product category supported by a loyal client base has ensured that the software (primarily) behemoth stay relevant and highly profitable even when it had missed the mobile revolution party.
Both models work well and have proven to endure. Which model would you like to employ in your organization or project? Please feel free to drop in your comments.
Image courtesy: http://actioncoachchuckkocher.com/files/2011/12/OnTarget.jpg