Even after all our research, we missed an important truth about how the world has changed: The way people access a tool is just as important as what the tool does. People are overloaded with information, logins, and interfaces. And here we were, asking them to create a whole new habit.
To test against the first criteria, I ask myself whether I am an active participant in the meeting. Do I speak up and contribute, or am I just sitting in the sidelines? Do I have a strong point of view about this topic? Is there someone else who can represent my point of view just as well or better? Will something be done less effectively if I’m not there?
Project Management tools may help you to manage your work more smoothly, but the question is not how fast are you able to deliver things but how fast are you able to learn that you’re delivering the wrong things and make the adjustments.
A common mistake of most software companies is that they ship something and then move on to the next shiny thing. But one of the truths of building software is that you never fully get it right the first time. This is universally true, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much research you do.
In startup mode, you tend to do everything fast. If you are wrong, you just roll back the decision. In scale-up mode, you have a choice: You can do things fast or do things right. There’s always a balance, but in scale-up mode, you need to shift toward doing things right more often than doing things fast. If you do everything fast in a scale-up, you end up with “shortcut debt” which is a close cousin to “tech debt.” If you have too much “fast debt,” over time it will cripple you as you won’t be able to do new things as your whole organization has fingers in the dam holding back the water.