One of the most important activities on any project is called “Thrashing”. I first heard this term from Seth Godin in his book “Lynchpin“. He explains that “thrashing is the…productive brainstorming and tweaking we do for a project as it develops”. Sometimes thrashing is a minor tweak…and sometimes it is a complete throw-away and re-write. Either way, thrashing is essential.
He describes the secret to a successful project is to thrash early. When done properly, we find that thrashing leads to better clarity of goals, greater refinement of the schedule, and a tighter budget.
Or, we can just start running and see what happens. As the ship date draws closer, we often discover that we failed to understand the project as well as we thought and we have to struggle to adjust to meet the deadline. What that usually means is we trash at the end of the project and end up spending more money than we planned.
Seth says “The point of getting everyone involved early is simple: thrash late and you won’t ship. Thrash late and you introduce bugs. Professional creators thrash early. The closer the [successful] project gets to completion, the fewer people see it and the fewer changes are permitted. Every project that has missed its target date (every single one) is a victim of late thrashing.”
When do you thrash?
Thanks for listening!