We spent the last week getting a project we’ve been working on for two years over the finish line.
I find that the last 10% is so much harder than the first 90% of any project.
That is true whether it is software, an event, a construction project, or really anything that requires a lot of planning and then a lot of execution.
I also find that you have to have a “ship it” mentality and be willing to make hard decisions at the end in order to meet the “ship date.”
One time I asked a bunch of founders and CEOs whether they insisted that their teams meet “ship dates” and the answers were all over the map, but the ones I liked best were of the variety that ship dates are respected and met but features get pulled to meet them.
Pulling features is an example of the mess that happens at the end as you are trying to get something out the door.
I’ve also found that knowing that there will be bugs to get cleaned up and “punch list items” to be resolved is helpful to getting something out the door.
Perfection is not just the enemy of the good, it is the enemy of the ship date.
That is not to say that critical bugs (security, performance, etc) can be ignored in the effort to ship on time, but there are always clean up items to be dealt with after the fact.
Hitting dates is so important. And it takes someone, often more than one person, with the willpower and commitment, to get it done.
This relates to my post a few days ago on Heartbeat.
Hitting dates is important. Shipping is important. Getting stuff out the door is important. And the final push to do all of that is hard, often brutal. But you just have to gut it out and get it done.