Loving, Learning, Leading, Listening

The Cost of Perfection Is Higher Than You Think

Published: Friday, July 25, 2014

Yesterday I was in a conversation about the cost of getting a specification to a “perfect” state.  I made a bold statement that most times perfection has too high of a cost and that I just need good enough. After stating that I started to consider what “good enough” really means.

What is “Good Enough”

  • Good enough has the appropriate quality that meets the needs of the task.  For NASA, it may be down to the micrometer
  • Good enough enables the customer/individual to do the task with a high level of satisfaction that doesn’t frustrate them
  • Good enough drives higher throughput
  • Good enough can be iterated on

What Perfection Costs

  • Time to market - Perfection may have you missing the train
  • Stress - Perfection always has complications that add tension
  • Strategic thinking - Perfection gets to deep tactical execution which distracts from strategic initiatives


Michael Hyatt just posted a fantastic article about “Perfectionism” that covers a lot of this same theme.

John Maxwell has posted a couple of articles on the 10-80-10 rule.

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