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Urgency culture


Yesterday I was railing against being in a hurry to launch A/B tests. (Clearly it hits a nerve with me 😅)

I’ve always figured it was a symptom of a broader problem, and the interwebs confirms this. There’s even a pseudo-psychological term for it: “hurry sickness.”

Managers who suffer from this dreadful ailment need everything done ASAP. Everything’s a priority. They need that test launched yesterday, they need results reported immediately, because “it shouldn’t be that hard.”

Avoid these people like the plague. In my experience, they launch tests that break websites, or tests that simply fail to deliver the data necessary to make decisions.

When that happens, they say things like “That’s an interesting result … can we get a followup test launched by Friday?”

Optimization is not about being more efficient so you can do more stuff; it’s about working smarter, focusing on what matters most. Which ultimately is about doing less stuff.

I don’t believe it’s possible to run a successful optimization program in an organization with a culture of hurry-sick urgency. (I’m certainly done trying 😁)

Have you managed to pull it off? I’d love to hear about it.

© 2022 Brian David Hall