Doing It Right the First Time

Today’s blog post is written by Joe Tish, VP Implementation Services, PatronManager. 

At the recent PatronManager Community Meeting, one of our client presenters said these words: “Do it right the first time, or find the time to do it over.” Since the presentation, that mantra has been stuck on replay in my mind. It seems like such a simple concept, but in practice, it’s a lot more challenging. Now don’t get me wrong, I think most people try to do things right the first time, but we’re all human, so we can’t (and won’t) always be perfect.

Throughout my career, I have managed teams from 3 to nearly 300, and as such, I have led projects that went brilliantly and others that didn’t go so well. When evaluating what made certain projects more successful than others, I found that it all comes down to a few simple basics that can get overlooked when a deadline is fast approaching or other added stress imposes itself on the team responsible for delivering the finished product.

I recently came upon this blog post that really spoke to me and made it clear how we can help our employees and ourselves as we endeavor to “do it right the first time.” The author of the blog post lays out some simple and effective ideas that in practice can help ensure everyone is clear on expectations and has a path to follow! For me, it all boils down to three things: leading, defining, and measuring.

  • Leading: A good leader can make or break a project! Are you invested in the project? Are you setting an example? You can be the linchpin that creates the culture of getting it right or the person who leads it all off track.
  • Defining: Have you defined the “it”? Do your employees know what “right” looks like? Have you set expectations and goals? Even the most eager of employees can go down the wrong path if it’s not marked clearly. Make sure there is a clear process and hierarchy in place so that everyone knows exactly what they are in charge of doing, and who they should report to if questions arise!
  • Measuring: Is it clear what will be measured for success? Are you measuring the bad as well as the good? Make sure you’re looking at the full picture once a project is completed; celebrate what went well, and communicate what can be improved upon next time!

So before you start any project, large or small, make sure you have established a solid plan with clear, actionable goals and defined outcomes. By doing this, you will set your team and yourself up for success to “do it right the first time.” To conclude this post, I’ll leave you with this quote from the article to keep in mind (and give you some inspiration) as you gear up for your next project:

“Do It Right the First Time” was never intended to mean that people never make mistakes. The goal was culture change from one of expecting errors and measuring the accepted allowances, to one of prevention. It also gave everyone a common understanding of a performance standard, and a common language. And when people in an organization all start talking the same language and having a common understanding, watch out world!

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