Short answer: no, of course not. But why would I be writing this deeply analyzed, well-thought out article if I cared just about giving the short answer? So let’s jump right into this long-term debate about why doing something fast can’t mean doing it well, and why it is important to finish it once and for all, shall we?
Pretty much since the beginning of times, and more specifically since the beginning of working with clients/other people, there has been a general belief that establishes that, in order to do something right, you have to dedicate a very long time and thoroughness, and then you’ll accomplish greatness. So basically, you receive a task that you have to deliver at some point in the future, dedicate long hours to it, pay attention to every single detail about it, and then (probably a looooong time after they first assigned you said task) deliver a perfect job.
But oh, wait, what if it’s not perfect? What if some stupid mistake caused it to be all messed up, and now you’ve lost days, maybe weeks, over something that could’ve been easily avoided if you had checked it faster. If only you had delivered it sooner before you put so much energy into it, someone would’ve realized it and corrected you, and you would’ve been able to achieve greatness much more efficiently. Instead, you wasted all that energy on something that, no matter what, will end up requiring more energy.
So that’s just one of the infinite amount of examples of why thoroughness and time-dedicating do not guarantee quality. And speed doesn’t guarantee quality either, but it does guarantee a much more efficient way to achieve it. And today, we’ll review the key points about what does it mean that speed guarantees efficiency, and which are the best ways to take this approach. So let’s jump right in, shall we?
The speed cycle
Think about it like this: the sooner you deliver something, the sooner it’ll be corrected, the sooner you’ll be able to update it, the sooner it’ll be as awesome as needed. Nothing you ever deliver, no matter how many hours and energy you dedicated to it, will be perfect on the first try. However, it’s not the same, not emotionally and not regarding efficiency, to find mistakes in something that took you a couple of hours rather than finding them in something that took weeks. So basically, keeping a cycle of fast delivering and fast fixing it will also get you faster to the goal.
Speed of communication
What tends to happen when someone has a long-term deadline is that, for as long as they take to finish the task they’ve been assigned to, no one really interferes with the process. And since it takes forever for people to actually comment on what’s being done, it also takes forever for the person doing it to get proper and useful feedback. So, whenever we have work to deliver, it’s our #1 priority to have people giving you feedback on it as fast as possible. Of course, not random people that will actually create a chaotic working scenario, but the people who actually should be a part of it.
A side note to this can be the importance of, even if you have a really far away deadline, being constantly in touch with the rest of your team. It’s really much more practical to have meetings every other week to show advances, receive comments, and brainstorm on ways to do it better. That way, even when something has to take a long time, you can make sure you are going in the right direction.
The difference between being fast and being sloppy
There is no reason why doing something fast, in a bam-bam-bam kind of way, is a synonym for doing it in a reckless or careless way. Take it to the smallest of levels: let’s say you have to write an article about X or Y subject that you really don’t know that much about. You could take several days to read about it, research, learn everything there’s to learn, and then write and deliver a good article about it. And your client may have wanted you to take a different approach, or to dig in on a specific part of it. On the other hand, if you read a bit about it, or write it with the general perspective you may have about it, then write a good enough article and you’ll be able to present it in a couple of hours. So not only will your client appreciate that you were fast to do it, but also will tell you where they’d like you to be more detailed, or where you should make any modifications.
So, to conclude, what happens here is quite simple: no matter how much time and effort you put into your task, your client will always need a few or a lot of changes, because that’s how life works. However, if you avoid spending a huge amount of hours on it, the modifications will not only be less frustrating, but you also will be able to implement them and achieve your client’s goals faster, and more efficiently, and this will absolutely make the difference for them. So, next time you are approaching a task, keep this in mind and remember there’s no reason why speed and quality shouldn’t be best friends.