Is This Really a Good Thing?
My initial reaction to this concept was a bit skeptical. Wouldn’t this lead to a lot of cases of over-thinking a task? After all, over-analyzing a task can be just as problematic as under-analyzing one – especially if it leads to a situation in which you’re spending so much time planning what you need to do that you don’t have time left to actually do anything. But, the more I thought about it, I realized that this potential issue is one that was more likely to be cured by taking on a PM mentality than caused by it since good project management includes good time management, among other things.
On the other hand, I think we need to be careful to not dismiss the importance of individual work styles and personalities. Some people are natural planners who love to have every aspect of a project or task mapped out before they get started, and others are far more comfortable when they can just jump in, get to work and make adjustments on-the-go. Some people are more productive when they’re working under deadlines (self-imposed or otherwise), and others actually perform much better when they don’t have that ominous clock ticking away in the corner of their brain. And, some people are happier when they’re getting continuous feedback every step of the way while others just want everyone to leave them alone until they’re ready to share what they’ve done.
On a general scale, I do feel it’s important to make it clear how every task – no matter how menial or inconsequential it seems – fits into the big picture. And, if you can’t figure out how it fits into the big picture, then it’s time to question if it really needs to be done. That is, everyone should have some type of understanding as to why they’re doing something and why it’s important, but does putting too many requirements on “how” to do a task help or hinder productivity and quality of work? The answer to that really depends on a lot of factors, including the personality of the individual who will be doing the work. Sure, there are best practices for almost every situation, but should we consider these best practices to be actual rules or suggestions?