Faster or Sooner?
At first it looks like a contradiction - doesn’t faster mean sooner too?
Consider the following 2 situations:
Company needs 3 widgets. They work on all 3 widgets at the same time.
All 3 widgets are completed in 3 weeks.
Company needs 3 widgets. They determine priorities for the widgets, and work on them one at a time.
They each take a week and a day or two to complete. All 3 widgets are completed in 4 weeks.
So, what’s the difference?
The company that chooses faster is a week ahead in terms of development.
The company that chooses sooner is able to take advantage of the investment 2 weeks earlier than the other.
The way to achieve each is almost completely opposite of each other:
- Many efforts vs Single effort
- Quantity over time vs Quality over time
- Division vs Unity
- Efficiency vs Innovation
- Cost vs Value
Now, you might be still leaning towards faster rather than sooner. And that’s okay. One final thought on it though:
Divide and Conquer
We typically misuse this phrase. We say it as we divide the team and focus on different aspects of a problem - the problem divides us. The Romans (the originators of the concept), by contrast, divided the problem and conquered each division as a united force.
Splitting your team, your time, your energy, your resources to tackle a bunch of problems at the same time is more efficient; without a doubt it’s faster. But, it leaves you vulnerable. Splitting the problem and tackling the divisions one at a time allows you to focus on the critical areas first and enables a more fortified position.
And that’s why in a choice of faster or sooner, I personally aim for sooner.