To Maintain Quality, We Must Do Some Pruning

Jason Fried, of 37 Signals, wrote this in his recent blog, Pruning: Making room for something new:

“It’s so easy to create (because creating is fun), but it’s also easy to ignore (because ignoring doesn’t involve work). Over time, if you create too much and don’t clean it up, you can lose control over quality. Quality, like time, is a limited resource.”

All of us fall into this trap… We love to create new things and watch them grow and move on to the next new thing and grow that. But, over time, your products and services – if successful – grow with more and more features…

To maintain the quality, we must do some pruning. We must step back and take a critical look at our creation… does this solutions still solve the market problem it was design to solve? Has the market needs change and do we need to transform our solution to meet these changes?

Sometime it is as simple as eliminating antiquated features – which can still be hard for those who are too close to the product. Sometimes the solutions needs a complete overhaul – and that may require “new blood” with “fresh eyes” to bring a new perspective to bring the product back to relevance in its marketplace.

This is tough work and many organizations don’t get around to doing it. It requires time and people dedicated to the long-term quality of their solutions.

Don’t fall into this trap. Look at your portfolio. Do your solutions still meet your market needs? Do you have the right people to do this critical work – that can be objective about the product and really understand your customers?

Happy pruning.