20 Days To A Better Business

Each Monday we focus on one activity you can do today or  over the next week to build yourself a  better business.  These short, actionable posts will show you what steps you need to take to take your business to the next level.

In case you’ve missed the previous posts, you can catch up here: 20 Days to Build A Better Business.

This is Day 10: Ship on Time

The guys at 37signals.com are on to something. They say that there is one secret to shipping on time and on budget. The secret is when you run out of money or you run out of time then you ship. Then you’re on time and on budget.

If your mindset is that you ship on time then that’s not just a convenient shortcut but an obligation and then you centre your work around that obligation.

Successful businesses don’t say “if only, if only, if only” they ship. If you or you’re business has a reputation for shipping on time and on budget then you get the opportunity to do it again. If you don’t ship then you’re doomed to failure:

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Wayne Gretzky

Seth  Godin describes in Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to Drive Your Career and Create a Remarkable Future the idea of thrashing. What this means is you have a fixed date by which you stop changing what you’re going to produce and start producing.

A great example is that someone comes up with a great idea then they start working on it. After a while other people start to get involved and suggest a few changes. Which they make. After a bit more time more people get involved and make more suggestions which they take on board and so on. After a while the product ends up  shipping late and over budget.

So if you develop products in your business, next time instead of taking comments and suggestions just as the product is about to ship, make this discussion happen before the major work starts.

After all, it’s very easy to make changes early in the process Rather than later. For example making changes to  website whilst is it’s still on the test bench, or in  Photoshop, is easy. But making them when it’s almost complete is very expensive.

Therefore you need to ensure that you have all the detailed specification  worked out before starting any major work.

So, what do you think?? Could you change your development cycles so that the discussion starts at the beginning of the process and not at the end?

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