Posted by: amylamb | September 28, 2011

The Quality Target

I face my task list with two intentions: 1) Getting it done, and 2) Doing it well.

Though the two purposes don’t have to be mutually exclusive, both require specific attention. Doing both simultaneously is like landing on an aircraft carrier (well, at least, I would imagine it is, considering that I have never personally landed a plane on an aircraft carrier. Nevertheless, work with me here). It’s a small target to hit in the sea of possibilities for the project’s potential.

Most of the time, we waver between the extremes of doing it quickly but poorly, or doing it slowly but well. If you find that you regularly have to sacrifice quality for completion, then perhaps the circumstances surrounding your task should be altered. Perhaps you need to refine the list tasks you undertake. Perhaps the task should be delegated to someone with the time the task deserves. Perhaps your definition of quality needs to be revised. Ultimately, if it cannot be done well, it probably shouldn’t be done at all.

Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing the right things. Quality is the delicate tension between the two. Skill is the ability to efficiently produce quality. That is the realm where excellence dwells.

Bottom line: get it done, and do it well. The rest is just details.

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