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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Follow Through

When learning the long jump, I was taught the jump wasn’t complete until I was out of the pit. That kept me from falling backward and losing total distance.

In golf, I get more distance when I exaggerate the follow-through at the end of my swing. The ball also goes in the direction I want.

This month, I was working with a team putting together some documentation. I set a delivery date. The customer picked a later delivery date, which some of my team-mates took as permission to extend their schedules.

Then the customer suddenly moved the date forward, giving 24 hour notice before the new, shortened delivery date. One of my teammates burped about the rush, and I observed if we had kept to our original schedule, we would have been fine.

That brought back memories of doing a lot of proposals, where some teams routinely had to pull “all-nighters” to deliver on time. I built a schedule so my teams would finish a week early, which let us take some leisurely time for a final check, applying If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now. We had an excellent win percentage with record low histrionics.

When I’m designing sales programs, I want the average player to achieve their weekly activity goal by Wednesday. There’s a week or two of, “You mean I can just go home?” followed by a practice where we execute some interesting ideas in the last two days of each week and often end up creating another week’s worth of production.

I don’t know where Finish Late In A Scrambling Panic comes from, but my experience is that neither the customers nor the providers profit from it.

What’s your story?

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1 comment:

  1. Dick:

    The deck hands had that brass just a gleaming on that frigid night as the band played on. Including an implied review and revise period in a project is a positive and yields a better result - both when things go as planned, and when they go south.

    A friend told me about a business development person in a non-profit firm who interpreted the deadline as off his desk by the time and date of submission of the RFP to the sponsor. Needless to say, the only outcome of this approach was a lot of blame targeted to others for the failure to win contracts.