Doing it right first time

I first blogged this on our internal company blog. It sent my stats soaring and I have even made it to editors picks. So riding the wave of success, I have decided to also publish it here.


This is how it started. I read this quote the other day from American coach John Wooden and it made me think about the truth behind the quote. It makes sense on so many levels. If we do it right first time, then it saves us all time, it saves colleagues time and it saves us redoing work.

This week I have had to reapprove 2 contracts in our systems, because in both cases the contract numbers were incorrect. Somebody spotted it, not me, as I do not know what the contract numbers should be, I had to rely on what I could check when I did the first and second approval. A small thing, but all the small things add up.

My dad used to say ” if a job is worth doing, then it is worth doing well”. For me that is almost the same as above, but not quite. We all have to do jobs in our daily life that we maybe do not see the point in doing, but it is a job requirement. So my dad was close, but John Wooden is closer. So we should all take that extra time to get it right first time, and we will thereby reap more time saved for us and for others, plus we will have the comfort of knowing that the work we produce is of a high quality and can be relied upon by others. Colleagues know who produces good work, and who is a bit more slapdash and where extra checks need to be made.

And what about the implied message in the quote, that if you do not have time to do it right first time, then should you not do it at all? Clearly that is true if you want to produce quality work. If it is so urgent, then find the time, but get it right, otherwise it is pointless doing  it at all.


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