How Completeness Drives Efficiency

Useful = fit for its intended purpose and a joy to use

Value = the return that is generated when something is whole and complete, and no longer requires our attention.

When we create useful products, they are in integrity; they are whole and complete; they work and create workability. When we create a product that is not useful, that is, not fit for its intended purpose and/or not a joy to use, it is incomplete.

Often we create “workarounds” to deal with the problems that are created by incomplete products. However, workarounds donʼt address the incompletion itself, and often create new incompletions. We must avoid creating workarounds whenever possible, and eliminate the need for workarounds by resolving the incompletions weʼve left behind.

Complete products donʼt need to be fixed, whereas products that are incomplete constantly call for our attention. We are faced with a seemingly constant stream of new tasks consisting of resolving the defects and dealing with the consequences that an incomplete product creates. Incompletion is extremely expensive!

When we make a product complete, we get the benefit of not having to fight fires that incompletion invariably ignites as well as the consequences of those fires. Therefore, the return on investment associated with getting to completion is very high. The future effort saved by getting to completion can be invested in other efforts that generate a greater return than firefighting.

Every time we touch a product but donʼt do what it takes to make it complete, we spend resources without getting the enormous return that comes with completion. That is, the return on investment of firefighting is low as we have a continuing expense with little or no benefit to show for it.

Our focus as a team should be on making our products whole and complete. Whenever we touch a product, we must strive to leave it in a state of completion, or at the very least, closer to a state of completion than it was previously.


© 2012 Ralph Dandrea. All rights reserved.

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