Is Your Work Just Good Enough?

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Aug 29

Most of us that work in cubes have experienced service that is just good enough. Most of us have done work that is just good enough. But should “good enough” be the standard to uphold?

In a Business Week article titled “Why ‘Good Enough’ is Good Enough” it is argued that technology has become more and more unreliable in a unit sense — any particular application can be down for a while — it is actually good for innovation and the consumer at the same time. Our “imperfections,” if you will, drive us to get newer products and services out the door faster because they a just good enough. As a result, there is always a backup through a different product or service that does work.

Perhaps good enough is OK for consumer technology — after all, who has to worry about the little old consumer if something is down for four hours — but it’s not OK for either how we work nor the applications we depend on to get our work done.

If your work is dependent upon your e-mail system and that system is down for four hours a week, it’s not helping your work.

If your application you use 80% of the day to do your work is down once a week, good enough isn’t helping your work.

If your health is dependent upon surgery, is good enough what you want your doctor’s work to be during surgery?

If you only deliver what you say you will deliver only 60% of the time, is that good enough? Or 80% of the time?

The problem with building your delivery of work around “good enough” and the technology you need to do your work to “good enough” is that it doesn’t promote excellence that will differentiate your personal brand or your company’s products and services to your customer.

If you’re familiar with the saying “good enough for government work,” you know that it’s not exactly complimentary. In fact, it is representative of shoddy work that will pass low standards.

Good enough products, customer service, management, work tasks completed is a nice way of saying we’ve lowered are standards about what is acceptable. It’s not good enough for me.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

  • I work at EMC, a technology company specializing in storage. We speak about Total Customer Experience (TCE) which is important because we value our customers and we can’t be just “good”. We need to provide a superior service to act as a differentiator.

  • Scot Herrick says:

    I agree, Dan, and it’s an interesting position that was taken that technology can be just “good enough.”

    If companies have that philosophy (and I know many that do) of just good enough technology, it makes it very hard for the employees of the company to provide superior service and act as a differentiator with their customers.

    There is a clear link between products, process, and the technology used to deliver products and services to customers. Break the chain anywhere and it really hurts the brand.

  • Ryan Paugh says:

    I’m all for the “good enough” guys. They make us “above and beyond” fellas irreplaceable.

    Nice post.

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Heh. Well, true enough. And, hopefully, being better than just good enough will help us stay employed instead of being laid off…

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