Speed is best – so said the hare to the tortoise – and who won in the end?
It’s as true in that fable as it is in business. Getting there first will get you the kudos and plaudits, but if what you’ve delivered doesn’t fit the bill then these will be short lived and your competitor may steal the day.
Yes we need to ensure things are delivered on time and the key is agreeing what that time will be. When you have a late delivery we all know how we feel. However to get something early and all correct is often received very well by clients.
Obviously there is a balance in setting the timescale to make sure you can meet the customer’s needs, particularly if what you are delivering is being used elsewhere in their processes, and also if you have competitors also bidding for the same work.
So before committing to delivering something that you cannot achieve, ask your customer some simple questions:,
- When do they need it by?
- What other processes are reliant on this item arriving on time?
- If it arrives early will this impact other things – for example if you schedule something to be delivered and it arrives early, will they have space for it?
Once you know the answer to these simple items you can gauge what timescale you need to set, remembering that getting it right first time and on time is key to reputation and possible future work.
Don’t over promise, always (where you can) under promise and over deliver.