When is Done Done?

I just read the Cult of Done Manifesto on Bre Pettis site. This was done in collaboration with Kio Stark.

The most interesting part of this list of twelve items (aside from the natural wit, wisdom and laughable insights) are the distinct two-sided comment response from the readers.

Group 1 – find it brilliant (mostly marketers, writers and sales forces of manufacturers). Group 2 – (scientists, engineers, academics and researchers) find it very scary and intimidating and outlandish.

Why is that?

Group 1 – Marketers want to see results, get things done. After all,  the project’s completion means they get paid. Yet, sometimes ideas are half baked. So taking it slower, spending just a bit more time , might produce better results.

Group 2 -the others – i.e.  Engineers – ( experiential  suggestions: because I am the daughter of one, married to one and have befriended many) suffer from thinking and pondering which postpones done. Delay and rumination also means they get contracted and paid more.  Maybe taking this list with a grain of salt might actually help them get things done. Yes, safety is paramount, but first, get started with some plans.

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2 Comments

Filed under Business Marketing Strategies, Client Management Strategies, Communication, Communication Strategies, Knowledge, Organizing, Philosophy, Productivity, Techniques, Terms

2 responses to “When is Done Done?

  1. Frederick

    I’m surprised there haven’t been any comments because I think Terry has identified one of the most critical issues of our times, both on a personal and organizational level. So I’ll venture out with my thoughts.

    As a former engineer myself, I think Terry is right that engineers tend to be more process oriented. In defense of engineers, that is because they are where reality hits the road and the protectors of the “Quality” portion of the project triad of “Cost, Schedule and Quality”. Typically engineers have non-engineering project manager types to hammer them on accomplishing cost and schedule. “Getting it done” refers to the schedule part. Most often in a project quality – i.e. realiability and maintainability – get short shrift because they are not so easily quantifiable and understood by the layman. I remember one non-engineer project manager type asking me on the units of production, “Are they popping out like popcorn yet?” Clearly he didn’t have a clue of what was technically involved or wasn’t geared in reality. This is a balancing act, but to understand an engineer I suppose you almost need to be one or have been one yourself. I think we need more engineers in the American workplace and in management to understand the design process and mentality. Untold grief and waste on complex projects have resulted from not adequately balancing schedule, cost and quality.

    On a personal level, I think the mantra of “get it done” is very useful. After my first wife died in 1978, I coped with my grief by just constantly telling myself “Get it done”. Since I am a perfectionist anyway, I usually got it done and done well – it worked! I think a tenet of staying organized is to “get it done” as an “organizing event” – filing, throwing away, etc. – occurs, rather than putting it off.

    In Myers Brigg terms, getting it done types are J or judgmental on the 4th letter, whereas P or process or the ones who prolong things. P’s and J’s are attracted to different professions which may explain the phenomena that Terry was describing of certain types having or lacking this characteristic. I am 50-50 on P and J – a fence sitter!

    Thanks to Terry for addressing this important issue of “getting it done”.

  2. Pingback: Thinking about Blog Comment « Terry’s thinking!

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