You are working away on a project and the final deadline is fast approaching. You want to keep making final adjustments and minor changes so that you get it “just right”. You may even ask your client to extend the deadline because you discovered a few more things you should do.
Sounds familiar? Well, if it does, don’t worry. Most high-level performers have found themselves at one point trying to be a performance perfectionist. There is always a balance between trying to produce great work and delivering projects on time and on budget.
When working with clients who find themselves stuck in the rut of performance perfectionism, I get them to ask themselves the following questions:
1) What are you achieving by making last minute adjustments?
The answers vary, but there is a commonality to the responses and it’s usually along the lines of “I am adding value”. The reality is that most people on the receiving end of the product or service (that is, the clients) will not notice this minor increase in value (which is usually only about .5%). However, they will always notice a missed deadline and budget overruns.
2) What impact is your perfectionism having on the project?
People who “suffer” from performance perfectionism often have no idea about the impact their perfectionism is having on projects. This usually leads to other people on the team having to make significant changes to their schedules and resources. This in turn impacts the team’s ability to be effective and efficient.
3) What is the cost?
There is a cost associated with being a performance perfectionist. Too much focus on getting everything “just right” means extra hours that go unnoticed or not reported until a project manager sees the unaccounted hours being added to the project. In many cases this causes projects to go over budget.
It will always be a balancing act between performing at one’s best and being a performance perfectionist. Asking yourself these types of questions or looking for this type of behaviour on the teams you lead will help ensure performance perfectionists are working as high-level performers and bring great value, products and service to your clients on time and on budget.
Turn Your Knowledge into Action
1) Take some time this week and ask yourself these questions to see if you are a performance perfectionist
2) Take one action this week to ensure last minute changes you are making add real value to the products or services you are delivering to your clients.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net