The Need for Speed Has Its Limits

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Today’s world is pretty exciting. Innovation is prevalent and new solutions are being developed in virtually every industry on a continuous basis. Companies are learning how to leverage those innovations, developing revolutionary solutions that can sometimes redefine the entire industry. Customers fuel that innovation with an insatiable need for the latest and greatest thing, and increasingly global competition drives companies to deliver better solutions faster than ever before. If you are working for an organization in one of those transformational industries – and not many industries are excluded, it’s an exciting time. You’re constantly being challenged to do more, to push further, deliver faster and achieve more than you did even a few months ago.

But there’s a problem with that. With so much focus on doing more, more quickly than ever before, we are losing sight of the affect that speed has. We simply measure ourselves against what we delivered in the previous year or quarter, we don’t consider whether our constant desire to accelerate is damaging our ability to deliver at all. And that’s what I want to consider in this article.

The factors impacting speed

Consider how a fast car is designed and developed. It’s not simply a case of taking a generic car and adding power. There has to be consideration of aerodynamics,…

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