Who thinks too fast?

Richard comments on my original post about misinformation, really promoting planning:

"I usually spend two weeks (and sometimes even more) in the planning phase which includes the creation of the database structures and overall flow. "


I'm not sure I agree that "thinking fast" is necessarily a bad thing but I certainly agree that "thinking deeply" is required with it.

Consider watching Rick, Markus, Ken or Steve demonstrate a concept at a presentation - these guys think fast - yet they also think deeply at the same time.

Just as there are too many consultants and IT specialists who act too quickly, there are also far too many consultants and IT specialists who prefer to get paid for "thinking" instead of "doing".

The end result? Their project takes forever to get done and by the time it's done, they haven't really "thought" of what happens in the interim. Yet they get the reputation of being "great analysts".

I certainly don't advocate stopping at the first thought and then moving ahead on it - as Richard notes, there are too many people who do that. But you need to be able to
carry that thought through to its inevitable conclusion without spending days doing it. Then if it doesn't work - you move onto the next idea.

That's definitely a skill - and there are tools that can really help do it for you! Both in software and project management.

Nothing wrong with saying "let me think about it" and then coming back with something that is truly innovative - but wasting time on thought without having anything to show for it - is just plain bad. You may "feel" good about your introspection but in the end, what you just did was, in fact, nothing.

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Comments

Randy Jean said…
That MindManager software looks interesting. Have you used it? Seems like a Wiki on steroids.
Andrew MacNeill said…
Randy, I've used MindManager for about 2 years now. I haven't used it in a shared environment but the one thing it definites help to do is brainstorm and then produce a finalized document with it.

And since you can update project plans, outlook and now OPML with it - it becomes even cooler

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