Time: The Often Forgotten Variable in Plans

27 Jul 2022 by Scott Middleton

Time, or more specifically, duration is often forgotten or ignored as a variable in plans and strategies. But, the reality is that many things just take the time that they will take and no amount of activity or investment will speed them up. 

The inability to control the time it takes to get an outcome (positive or negative) shows up everywhere:

  1. Research: you can’t short circuit the time it takes to find people to talk to, set meetings with them, have a few reschedules, then have the interviews you need to have. 
  2. Sales: You can’t control how long a sale might take. Your customer might resign, have an illness or a major change in plans. They might just be too busy this quarter, even though they do want to buy. 
  3. Purchasing: The act of making a purchase can take time, as a consumer you might want to assess all the options, or need to wait for the funds to be available. In a business, you may need to go through a procurement process with appropriate contracts. 
  4. Hiring: Working out exactly what you need to hire for, putting an ad out, waiting for responses, scheduling interviews, and making a decision all take time. Maybe you didn’t get the right person and need to run the process again. 
  5. A strategy: Building the capability, iterating through lessons learned, evolving the plan then having it gain traction takes time. 
  6. Decisions: when there are multiple people involved (and even when there aren’t!) thinking about the options, defining the decision, debating and discussing all takes time. 

There are more examples but I think you get the point. 

There are activities and strategies you can use to on average shorten the time it takes to get to an outcome. You can modify your sales pitch to shorten the sales cycle. You can improve your job ad to increase candidates applying for the role. You can do a range of activities however the key is that it shortens the average.

An average, by its fundamental nature, means that there will be times where it takes longer to get an outcome and times where it’s faster.

The fundamental mathematics behind time is a big reason as to why it often trips up the best plans and strategies.

Read more:

Scott Middleton
CEO & Founder

Scott has been involved in the launch and growth of 61+ products and has published over 120 articles and videos that have been viewed over 120,000 times. Terem’s product development and strategy arm, builds and takes clients tech products to market, while the joint venture arm focuses on building tech spinouts in partnership with market leaders.

Twitter: @scottmiddleton
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/scottmiddleton

Back to Blog