Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Take the time

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There’s a somewhat famous quote shared in the product management community that goes something like this: “We never have time to do things right the first time, but we always have time to redo them.” The work or activities required up front (to avoid future problems) seem to take too long or cost too much to make them worthwhile. But when they don’t work out, the time and/or money will be spent to make it right in the end.

The reasons for this phenomenon are vary among different organizations. However, the solution is largely the same regardless of type of “things” a person or a company faces:

  • Training: Spend the time and money to get the training you need. Take a training course to better understand your job or market.
  • Tools: Use the right tools for the job. There are thousands of examples of projects that show the value of using the right software applications or the right hardware. Find out what tools work for the project and use them from the beginning.
  • Time: This one’s obvious, but cannot be overstated. Set aside enough time at the beginning of a product/project cycle to make sure the important factors are considered prior to spending time going down a dead-end path.

Whether you do a product/project right the first time, or you go back and make it right, you will have to spend resources either way. Doing it right the first time will almost always cost less. Defining and designing a product correctly take time, but they are much less costly than fixing bugs after the product has released. Take the time — up front — to do things right.

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