If you want to be 100% sure, you will be 100% late

There are so many good ideas. Why are so few of them implemented?

One reason is that we want to perfect our idea before we implement it. Especially in Germany, where we are so proud of „made in Germany“ and German engineering.

I often experience that I learn about excellent solutions to a problem that a small team of experts has built and is now trying to conquer the market. A lot of time has gone into it and every fineness has been thought of. It’s 100% perfect. Everyone is enthusiastic about the solution, right up to the first contact with people who have the problem of what the solution should solve.
Then the question comes, can it? And for that we also need something. Sometimes there are special cases a,b,c. And by the way…..

It doesn’t matter what kind of problem we’re talking about. The people who can work on the solution, lawyers, developers, engineers, sales people, doctors or whatever.

How can I prevent this?

The answer is not at all, but this is exactly where the secret lies. It should not be the attitude and the claim to solve something to 100% for everyone with this problem, because I cannot do that at all. Every angle is a little too different for that.

What I can do instead is change my mindset and open myself.

I can share my idea early and ask openly whether others have this problem too. I can discuss my solution with them. But the most important thing is, I can think about what is the smallest part of my solution that I can build and that someone with the problem can use and test?

This way I can get to market faster with my solution and get direct feedback on how good my idea really is with the concrete possibilities and hints on what I can do better.

Is agility the solution?

Certainly not for every problem, even if the buzzword agility is on everyone’s lips. But if my problem has a certain degree of complexity with regard to the requirements and the technology of the solution, then an agile approach is certainly the right way. After all, an agile approach is very structured and significantly increases the chances of success in such conditions.

Three first steps

If I am not yet agile, however, I can still gain quick insights from agility and achieve success with these three approaches:

  • Get your stakeholders on board
    Who is interested in solving your problem? This certainly includes customers, users and management. And each of these stakeholders has different requirements. If these are taken into account at an early stage, success is somewhat more certain in the end. It sounds trivial, but how often is at least one of the three stakeholders not involved in the development of solutions right from the start?
  • Let the stakeholders write you user stories
    A sentence with the following content creates much clarity: In my role as, I want to do the following, so that / because / to….. This way I can directly ensure the benefit for each role involved and understand why someone wants to do something.
  • Cut up the elephant
    Break the problem down into such small pieces that you can deliver a partial solution in a short cycle (2-4 weeks) that your stakeholders can try. This way you get quick feedback and know if you are on the right track.

Is that all it takes to be agile?

It is a start to prevent the most common reasons for the failure of tasks and to be sure that I can provide a solution to a problem in time. It’s about communication and interacting with the people around me. What sounds so simple is a big change for most people.

What results from this are better solutions, happier people who all feel valued and thus long-term, solid relationships based on trust. Follow-up projects are the logical conclusion.


Get the stakeholders on board, ask them about their user stories and provide them with a short cyclical solution.

Whoever starts with these three small steps will be shaped by the feeling of success, then surely at least think about working completely agile if the complexity of the task makes this an option.

If you want to know more about it, just write to us.

Take care and have a happy day



Published by

Chris Decker

Triathlon Coach der 2-fachen Ironman Siegerin Astrid Stienen. Lässt mit Leidenschaft Triathlon-Träume wahr werden.

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