Using Just-in-Time Development

There is a finished project and there is a perfect project and they are not the same thing, nor with they ever be. I’m using the word “project” but you can insert whatever you want – paper, work assignment, clean house, whatever. Both knowing and understanding this is half the battle. Whatever you need to do to get this into your belief system do it – repeating it like a mantra, writing it down, reflecting on it – whatever works for you when you are trying to take on a new perspective.

Just-in-time development, a strategy that will help you finish what you need to in the most effective manner possible, originated from the training and development world. I have been practicing this for years; however, it has never become more apparent how important it is until I became an entrepreneur. This means that you don’t fully create, write, or develop something until you are sure that it is the path you need to go down. For example, if I have a course idea or a keynote speech idea, I will write it up in a paragraph, in general terms, so I have plenty of wiggle room when I’m ready to create it. Let’s say I have a client that has asked I do a keynote speech at their annual event and they would like an idea of the different services I can provide. I will generally provide them three options that I think would work with the event. So I will submit three speech ideas, each with a paragraph description. They then choose which one they would like. Most of the time it is a speech I have already developed and delivered for another client and I simply need to tweak it to fit their specific needs. If it hasn’t been done already, I then take the time to fully develop it for the big delivery. Could you imagine if I had taken days, or even weeks to fully develop the speech or even a course, and then it is never picked by a client? What a waste of my time!

Let’s look at how you can use just-in-time development for other things. You have a report idea at work – do you spend hours or even days working on it, present it to the boss only to find out it isn’t what was needed? Or do you have an idea for a book, spend a year writing it, and then are upset that no one buys it? Or do you decide to throw an amazing dinner party, come up with a menu, buy all the related stuff, and then no one finishes their meal because they didn’t like what was on the menu? Okay, those were examples you may or may not relate to – however, the point is this – if there is something that will take a lot of your time and energy doing – don’t allow the perfectionist inside you go through the whole process of doing it before you at least float the idea to affected parties. Using just-in-time development as an achievement strategy, you would have written a summary of the report to see if your boss wanted you to do the full report or written a summary of the book and run it past a few people to gauge their interest, or create a sample menu to run it past your dinner party guests first to see if it is something they would be interested in. You get the idea right?

So your call-to-action today is to think about where you may be going all in when, at least initially, you could be doing some just-in-time development.