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Slow is the new Fast

Slow is the new Fast

A blog by Pamela Yates

Slow is the new Fast

Watching the recent amazing rescue scenes in the caves in Thailand reiterates the slow is fast motto. SEALs have a slogan “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” So, the next time you are in the middle of a fast sprint, take time to breathe and get to know your inner tortoise. It will help you focus on the task ahead and ensure that rework is reduced in the future.

In his book Endurance, astronaut Scott Kelly’s story of his year aboard the International Space Station, he recalled: “Slow is efficient. Efficient is fast. Slow is fast.” It’s a translation of an old Latin tag, festina lente, “hurry slowly”. It means that trying to do things too fast often means you waste time going back to correct your mistakes: the fastest way of accomplishing something is to work carefully and methodically.

Do you sometimes feel we never have time to do it right but we always have time to do it over? The problem could have been avoided with a slower, more careful approach. In our business where agile sprints are the order of the day, there are times when speed needs to be compromised by attention to detail. A quick solution may be fine for the immediate future, but down the track another development dependent on the earlier solution can be impacted by a poorly thought through short-cut.

Fast thinking works is great in a well-known context. You save time when you don’t have to deliberate over details and nuances to make informed decisions. But, in more complex, unfamiliar circumstances fast thinking can lead to extremely poor decisions. Jumping to ill-founded conclusions because of pressure to achieve the short-term goal can lead to longer term issues.

If you are a software developer you may find the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman valuable.

Posted on: August 6, 2018
A blog by Pamela Yates