Should a new home construction project be judged when only its blueprint exists? How about when the site has been prepared? What about when the materials like wood, rebar, and electrical conduit are delivered?
Should we wait to judge the home build until the framing is complete? Should we wait until the walls and roof are added? Or, wait until all the windows are installed? What about the paint and other finishing touches on the house? Should you wait for those to be completed?
Can you judge the success of the home build before it’s finished?
When making chocolate chip cookies, do you judge the success of the cookies while mixing the ingredients? How about when the chocolate chips are poured into the batter?
What if the recipe called for real butter, but you only have that non-diary butter substitute that’s supposed to be healthier than butter? Are your cookies doomed at that point? Should you call-off the project and declare it a failure?
Assuming you’ve made it past the butter/non-dairy butter issue, is it right to judge the cookies after they’re spooned out onto the cookie sheet, but not yet baked?
Just before placing those filled cookie sheets into the preheated oven, is that the time to re-evaluate the entire cookie-making process to determine if it’s failing? Should you call a meeting to discuss whether the cooking temperature listed in the recipe is the correct one for your cookies?
Houses and cookies are obvious examples of “projects” that have a lot of moving parts. They build from a set of raw ingredients, mixed with time and effort, into a completed item.
What about less obvious events in our lives? When’s the right time to judge these for success or failure (using whatever measures you’ve chosen)?
- new job
- new business
- new business strategy
- new information system
- new software development project
- new friends
- new marriage
- new workout regimen
- new hobby
- new home
The easiest approach is to prematurely judge, declare failure and decide who to blame. Failure is comforting. The status quo is easy.
The new thing is never easy. Creating something new is almost always uncomfortable.
When we judge too early, failure soon follows.
By the way, the cookies were amazing, but not until they came out of the oven.