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Perfectionism Holding Up Project

Submitted by  on August 16th, 2012

Two office workers reading many foldersI’m sure you’ve experienced an employee or contractor who wants their work output to be perfect. And you’re in pain because the delay in their output is holding up your important project. How do you get your employee or contractor to do the job just well enough for the project to progress?

As a recovering perfectionist, I can well appreciate the dilemma. When dealing with projects that rely on the work output of others, it helps to build the quality requirements into the original project specification. That way, everyone knows upfront the error rate to be expected. Employees and contractors will then better appreciate that panning out the date for delivering each work output is not acceptable if the reason is to get 100% accuracy.

Accepting less than perfection is exceedingly difficult for some people as their worth as a human being is determined by their ability to do 100% accurate work. We need to be especially mindful of these kinds of people (me included) and emphasize to them that their worth is not in question if they produce work that is good enough.

How do you deal with perfectionists on your project? What tips can you pass on to help others get their projects done on time without hurting people’s feelings?

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