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What have the Prussians ever done for us?

Posted on Tue 17 May 2016
Written by Keith Turkington MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

I was heading off on holiday the week before last and I left the office to the usual comments of “enjoy yourself”, “don’t take the laptop”, “switch off and don’t think about work”, “don’t come back!” etc.

I was really looking forward to going away and seeing somewhere new.  At the same time, in a crazy sort of way, I was equally keen to get back.  We are at a really exciting time with our business and with Flexi-Grant® and I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.  We have great new clients (thank you for putting your trust in us) and a great product that is soon to be even more awesome (an expression I am borrowing from one of our team who likes to ‘sprinkle awesomeness’ on everything).   I am impatient to see what our product will look like in 6 months’ time.  We have great new features coming as part of our ongoing commitment to make Flexi-Grant® the best grant management system it can be.  Patience is not one of my strong points.  I want it all and I want it right now.  What’s wrong with that?  Sometimes I tell myself (or kid myself) that impatience generates drive and drive generates action.

I have to take a breath and be practical.  We have to prioritise and we have to take the time to do things right.  “Do it right and not rushed” is a commonly spoken maxim in our office.  We need to focus on what’s important to customers and sometimes, despite our best efforts, things take longer than anticipated.   It’s often only when we are knee deep in developing and improving something do we find all of the subtle little items that need to be addressed and need more time.  “No plan survives contact with the enemy” is often quoted in project management.  Often attributed to Dwight Eisenhower or General Patton, the quote actually originated with Field Marshall Helmuth Von Moltke, chief of staff of the Prussian army, in the mid-nineteenth century (every day is a learning day!).  Von Moltke’s original observation was not quite so succinct and pithy: “No operation extends with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the main body of the enemy” but the meaning is clear!

In summary, we will do our best to deliver continuous improvements to our product and we will do our best to plan and be clear on when the new features will be available.  Sometimes things will head off-plan.  Don’t worry though, awesome just takes a little longer to get right and will be worth the wait.

Wait a minute?  “Don’t come back!”?  Who said that??

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