Best in class organizations give themselves time to plan. Everyone – your customers, your C-suite, your kids – wants results now. We’re in a culture that wants instant gratification. And while the before- and after-shots of your garage remodel give the appearance of instant results, what’s missing are the many steps – and mis-steps – that got you there. But the magic is in those details.
Before you take on any project, you have to get organized and take stock of the tools and skills you have at hand. You have to declutter to know what you’re working with, and what you need to acquire. Many DIY projects come with “and eight trips to Home Depot later…” which is great if you live down the street but generally poor practice if you’re spending more time running back and forth for parts than you are actually constructing the project. Planning ahead won’t always make it a one-trip kind of deal, but it’ll make your process far more efficient.
You need to have the right tools for the job. And this is where you have to be honest with yourself about where your expertise ends and others’ begins. Admittedly, some of this knowledge strikes in the middle of a project – we’ve all stood over some wiring, a hole in the floor, or a puzzling data set and scratched our heads – which is how we learn. But if you lead with a plan (measure twice, cut once), you can at least be ahead of most of the issues.
Whether it’s in the garage or the boardroom, the same rules apply. Plan ahead, know your desired outcomes and which tools you have, and be ready to acquire or outsource the ones you don’t. And this doesn’t mean that all the expertise has to live with one person. If you don’t have experience with electrical, you shouldn’t be wiring your home improvement project. If you don’t have the expertise to design your segmentation strategy, call someone who does. And all of this hinges on giving yourself time to plan before you embark on a new project.