Fire and Forget

Fire and Forget


Rubbing sore eyes, the developer finishes his day by scheduling the new release. It’s been a long few months of intense pressure to meet the deadline. Some corners had to be cut like half the testing regiment, but the system updates are ready. In a week, the new inventory system will be available for retail stores nationwide. The developer thought, simultaneously I will be sitting on a beach with a drink in hand.

What our developer friend doesn’t realize is that disaster is about to strike. Due to shortened testing, a critical error was missed. The inventory system will shut down completely after the first 10 minutes. Retail managers will scramble to find a way to track product movement.

Priorities are wrong here. We have just seen that it was more important for the organization to check the box of accomplishment instead of sweating the details. On the whole the project was finished on time and the new software is mostly correct. From the larger scope, this was seemingly a success, but the details were pushed to the side. You know, details like the software actually working.

Leading the Detailed Way

If we fail to sweat the details of a situation, then the whole will be lost. It’s like having an amazing customer experience all the way up until the end when a customer is confronted with a bill double what was expected. Even if that bill is correct, the total experience was ruined. How simple of a thing to make sure the customer is aware of cost before agreeing to the friendly service and quality products.

Leadership is responsible for sweating the details. If a leader is pushing a team to finish a project on time without concern for the details, then those running the project won’t care either. Even if there is concern for details, a leader must be careful what signals he or she is giving to others. If a leader only asks questions around deadlines, then the signal is given to everyone else that the deadline is the importance. Everything else is secondary to checking the box of completion.

We have all seen a good idea ruined because it was rushed. Don’t let this fire and forget approach happen to you. Give a project, process or service the time it needs to sort out the details and lead others to do the same. Otherwise, it will all end without achieving the desired results and create havoc along the way.