Subject Area: Know When to Quit Spare Parts Initiatives
Quitting is hard. Am I right?
I don’t mean quitting smoking (which is hard) or quitting fried food (even harder!).
I mean quitting something that you have worked on, even believed in.
I am talking about quitting on a project or initiative at work.
Something where you told others that you were on the right path.
Maybe even made promises to your boss or your team about the results that will be achieved.
Not achieving your spare parts management goals must be just about the most frustrating experience you can have in your job.
You work hard to deliver a project, but the promised benefits are just not realized.
That is hard.
We have grown up with expressions like, ‘quitters never win, and winners never quit’.
Maybe we have even felt the embarrassment of failure.
But sometimes, in fact quite often, quitting is the best path. It is the right path. It is the bravest path. It is the right thing to do. It is the path to ‘winning’.
The problem is, how do you know when to quit?
Quit too soon and you may be giving up while on track for success.
(Napoleon Hill, perhaps the father of personal and business improvement once wrote that people give up when they are ’three feet from gold’, meaning that even when they are on the right track for success they stop too soon.)
Quit too late and you have wasted time, resources, and the opportunity to reset and achieve your goals.
This is what happens when people fall for the ‘sunk cost fallacy’ or just don’t want to admit defeat.
(The sunk cost fallacy is where you keep going because of the effort, money and time expended so far (the sunk cost), even when changing direction is a better option.)
We start projects in good faith and with an understanding that there is always uncertainty about the outcomes. Sometimes those uncertainties are not fully foreseeable (although often they are).
Sometimes we just experience genuine bad luck or bad timing.
But sometimes we just made an inappropriate choice.
It is the mark of a good leader, a sophisticated manager, when they can admit defeat and change course.
Another expression we hear a lot is attributed to Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
With spare parts inventory management, people do this all the time.
They continue with software that doesn’t suit their needs.
They continue with policies that don’t deliver on their goals.
They don’t train their team members and yet expect them to achieve better results.
One key to achieving spare parts inventory management results that you did not think were possible is to know when to quit spare parts initiatives that are not working and to choose a different path.
More often than not, that is the right thing to do.
It is precisely because the issues are many and the nuances subtle that here at SparePartsKnowHow.com we have developed as a platform to access a wide range of resources relating to spare parts inventory management and optimization.
Author: Phillip Slater