Ever get involved in a project that requires modifications, and then those modifications led to more modifications and more and more?
Before you know it, the project has lost sight of it’s objectives, and the team is working on solving problems unrelated to the original goals.
I’m reminded of Rube Goldberg and his famous machines. We don’t intentionally try to complicate our work, but if we step back and look at the objectives, and the current processes and procedure in order to reach those objectives, we can often find distortions and diversions of comical proportions.
There are two simple actions that will eliminate and control our spiral into complexity and error.
- Step back and look at the problem, objectives and current procedures on a regular basis. What is working, what isn’t working, and why? What are you doing to modify or adjust the solution procedure or process instead of moving closer to a solution?
- When you discover that something is not working, and have analyzed why, don’t be afraid to START OVER. Throw out the current plan, and begin again.
We tend to avoid re-doing and restarting a project or activity because we want to salvage the time, money and effort that has been invested.
This inability to “do over” and start from scratch often prevents us from implementing better and more efficient solutions.
Our initial attempts to solve the problem have educated us about the requirements and environment. There is nothing wrong with starting over, in fact it may be the best and most efficient way to solve the problem.