• Donald Davis

Pursuit of Perfection

Don Davis PhD, MBA

Before I get too far into this post, I should clarify something. I firmly believe in continuous improvement, which is the pursuit of perfection, however, I do not believe in the quest for perfection when it stops you from ever getting something done.

As I interview entrepreneurs and leaders in Life Sciences, the idea of preserver or pivot has been a recurring theme. If what you are doing today does not work, adjust, and move forward. If you are waiting for your product, area, or output to be perfect, you may never reach the finish line because you might need to work one more day to achieve perfection for the rest of your life.

This does not mean that you leave critical things incomplete, either. The regulations must be followed and patients must be protected. Sacrificing quality or safety is not an option.

Product development teams can fall into this trap where their product meets the regulatory requirements, and it is safe. Still, they want to continually develop and make the product better without getting it in the customer’s or patient’s hands.

A first-generation product can be just a starting point that solves initial problems for customers.

Some things to think about:

  1. Iterative reviews, scoping documents, and clear timelines help with setting the boundaries. As leaders though, we need to be looking out for products that are in a continual state of development because the team is stuck in continual pursuit of perfection.

  2. Is what you are developing well defined? Does it have a clear stop and start?

  3. If you are improving upon existing products, are there clear targets that you are aiming for?

“As creators, our pursuit of perfection might be misguided, particularly if it comes at the expense of the things that matter. – Seth Godin”

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