Ever since I started driving, I have been a leadfoot. I still have fond (and scary) memories of driving fast in my 1978 Oldsmobile back in Texas. An open road was always one of my favorite places to be.

I have slowed down a bit as I have gotten older and had kids, but I still drive fast. To help satisfy my need for speed, I attended an auto racing school not too long ago. The school was a blast and I had the time of my life. But what really surprised me is how many things I learned about business and helping my clients from driving a car around a track. One of the things I learned is that you have to 'slow down to go faster.'

I know that this seems counter-intuitive, that you have to slow down to go faster, but it's true. Here's why:
  • In auto racing, races are generally won and lost in the turns. Anybody can go fast on a straight-turns are the tricky part.
  • When you go through a turn, it's more important to be fast leaving the turn vs. going into the turn.
  • If you are too fast going into a turn, you can get yourself into trouble. If you are lucky, you will be able to brake and just lose a few spots. If you aren't lucky, you will lose control, spin or run off the track
  • When you are faster than your opponents leaving a turn, you are faster on the entire straightaway, and you can pass other cars easily
  • So, if you know where to be slow and deliberate, you will be faster overall (and you won't wreck!)

This 'slow down to go faster' concept applies not only to auto racing, but also to how you apply technology in your company. When you want to apply new technology, such as, a new customer function on your website, software updates to support a new product, or automation of one of your business processes, there's usually a rush. There's a rush to get everything done and out the door in the least amount of time. And who can argue with that? Faster is better.

But just like in auto racing, you need to know when to go slow in order to be fast. Website and software projects can be very complicated, and in the beginning you need to be slow and patient. I recommend going slow in the beginning and focusing on three key elements so you can go fast later:

  • Is this the right project to tackle at this time? Is it more or less important than the other things you need to worry about? This will make sure you are spending your time on the right problem.
  • Make sure that your management organization is fully behind your project and are willing to support you. Website and software projects take a lot of time and resources, and you need backing for all of the time and resources you need. If you don't get them, your project will likely fail.
  • Focus on the specifics of exactly what you want your website/software/project to do. How should it look, how should it work, what specific results should it provide? You have to know exactly where you want to go if you have any expectation of making it there.

Going slow in the beginning will help you hit your marks, just like a race car going through a turn. And as soon as you exit the turn, you and your project will be ready to go fast.

Bottom line: Be slow and deliberate when organizing and defining your project.

Faced with an IT quandary? Want the latest buzzword explained or just need to know how a technology works? Send me a line: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.