Don’t let perfect get in the way of better


Why using the MVP agile methodology can help avoid the pitfalls of the search for perfection.

3 weeks ago

Example of bowl fixed in the Kintsuji method from Wikimedia (public domain).

Kintsugi is the 400-year-old Japanese art of repairing shattered pottery by mending with gold – emphasizing that what’s broken can always be made better.

The minimum viable product (MVP) methodology focuses on providing a product with just enough depth to solve a problem for your customers while allowing feedback for future development. Based on agile practice, this offers speed-to-market and continuous improvement based on the users’ needs.

That version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. – Eric Ries from the Lean Startup

Most of us strive to do our best possible work – an admirable and desired quality. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of searching for perfection. In the worst manifestation, this can lead to project delays, cost overruns, wasted effort, and low morale because of unrealistic standards.

I’m not suggesting doing things improperly. But it’s worth taking the time to step back from projects and consider what value you’re trying to drive for your customer. What’s the minimum needed to reach it? What can be updated later based on customer feedback or KPIs?

There will be an opportunity to mend the pottery and create something more valuable. It just might be what’s best for your company and, more importantly, your customer.

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