Good Enough?

March 20, 2008

I frequent a forum that is geared towards technology professionals, recently we wandered into an interesting series of posts. The initial concept started as a comment on the IT field dealing with “Good Enough”

What became clear – and I found it fascinating, is that the initial concept started wandering all over the map – and the reason for the wandering was the different “definitions” or perceptions of what “Good Enough” actually means, Our individual perspectives count for a lot.

What is “Good Enough” really? When can we say that something is “Good Enough”? And I am not meaning just in a technology perspective, but for this post lets consider it within the business process and any supporting technology.

My personal take on the definition of Good Enough is; “adequate for the current circumstances”. Don’t think that by “Good Enough” that I am implying a “set it and forget it” mentality on any business process or tool. That just leads to wasted dollars and time. A decision that was either declined or acted upon was valid only during the current circumstances of that decision. The current circumstances now will be different. What was good enough then, may no longer be good enough now, and will most likely not be good enough next year.

It is pretty much a fact – that no matter how much research and requirements gathering you do up front – the future is really unknown, and unknowable. As posted previously here trying to hit perfection is usually a lost cause. We have seen this in the business and technolgy press for years. They were documenting multi million dollar implementations of ERP systems, CRM systems and the like. Many of which did not achieve the expected returns.

To me, there is a point of diminishing return. You spend 80 % of your time and money trying to get that last 20% to get to “perfect” when the initial 20% investment would have you 80% there. To me that is “Good Enough”

So rather than take a full year to try and define and implement some massive structural change (that would most likely fail because in one year the world has changed) “Good Enough” says to start on one smaller part of the whole and got that process working “good enough”. Then slowly start working on process piece number 2 to get it “good enough”.

Who knows, by the time you are ready for piece number 3 – the Current Circumstances may have changed, maybe the lessons learned from pieces 1 and 2 may have demonstrated that piece number 4 should be next in line.

Good Enough for me


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