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Delivering? - Ed's journal
Is it better to take on more than you can manage, and deliver on most of it, or to take on less than you can manage, and end up doing less, but without being likely to let someone down?
That's either socially, professionally, or lending a hand to a friend?


5 comments or Leave a comment
kalkyrie From: kalkyrie Date: October 25th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Depends if you tell them you aren't going to deliver on all you say.

For a trivial example, providing 'almost enough' electricity to a hospital will likely end up with deaths. Providing only half the electricity, but telling them that, will let the hospital search for other sources of electricity.
Similar arguments may be valid for supplying raw materials to a factory (they would have to hire extra workers, who would be unable to work).

I would take a third option; Take on as much as you are sure you can do, and say you may be able to do the rest, but tell them that it's not a 100% chance, so don't count on it.
mrph From: mrph Date: October 25th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds very reasonable.

I absolutely hate letting people down / not delivering on a personal level - I'm less fussed about it at work, where it's 'best efforts but...' - so I try not to take too much on.

I'm not always successful, though...
jorune From: jorune Date: October 25th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
It depends on the place and situation. As long as both parties communicate their intentions to each other clearly then there should be, hopefully, no room for disappointment.

Regrettably this does not often happen.
cbr_paul From: cbr_paul Date: October 25th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, nothing pisses be off like a broken promise or waiting around on someone, so I would say that the second option. But then, I do go by the "Scottie" school of estimates in work:

"The term 'Scotty factor' describes the practice of over-estimating how much time a project will require to complete by multiplying the actual estimate by a particular number. In strict terms it is a factor of four."
From: sebbo Date: October 30th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Proffessionally: I recommend taking on as much as you know you can deliver. It always looks bad to fail, it always looks good to deliver on time in full. Nobody cares why.

PS: I am trying to apply this.. but I am struggling to say no to any requests coming my way.... as long as I'm trying.
5 comments or Leave a comment