I ask many of my clients to identify their company as being a “Patch and Go” or “Stop and Fix” organization and the answers always surprise me. Although it was originally used to describe the practice in maintenance departments it certainly applies to many business areas.
Patch & Go: In order to keep going and meet schedule deadlines many organizations apply a short-term patch to fix any complications that may compromise their goals. They do this knowing very well this “solution” is temporary and problems may resurface. It’s no different than the “patch a flat” that you use to fix a flat tire or the band aid to stop bleeding. Eventually the tire will have to be replaced; the wound is not necessarily healed.
“Patch a Flat” was intended to get you to the nearest repair station where it’s safer and more convenient to “Stop and Fix”.
Stop & Fix: There are situations when time needs to be taken in order to secure a well-thought-out plan. Applying the right long-term solutions to address and fix the problem will prevent future rework. While it’s more costly in the short term, it certainly results in long term gain.
There are times for “Patch & Go” but keep in mind it’s temporary nature. Failure to “Stop & Fix” will result in much greater set back to your schedule, your employee morale and ultimately to your bottom line.
Patch and Go. Stop and Fix. Regardless of which one defines an organization, hiring the wrong person to fill a vacancy, overlooking serious production defects, and accepting rework are just a few short-term fixes that should always be avoided.