Ways to distinguish yourself – #57 Focus on the last mile

Ways to distinguish yourself – #57 Focus on the last mile

By Rajesh Setty on Fri 04 Nov 2005, 7:06 AM – 5 Comments

There is a saying in the software development world that “it takes 90%

of the time to complete 90% of the project and another 90% of the time

to complete the other 10%.

Think about it – how many of your projects

are almost complete? If a few projects come to your mind instantly

don’t panic – you are not alone. We all are experts in getting to 90%

completion level on most of the projects that we are working on.

If that is the case – isn’t it simple to “stand out” of the crowd and

focus on the last mile on your projects and take them to completion.

There is another reason for focusing on the last mile – many times a

project that’s 90% complete is of little use. Let me give you an

example. I was in Boston speaking at the Open Source Business Conference a

couple of days ago. I stayed at the Marriott Newton and absolutely

loved the hospitality of the folks over there. They keep raising the

bar on the kind of service they provide.

In the end

when I wanted to check out, I realized that I could complete the check

out procedure via the Interactive TV. Here is where Marriott got the

project to 90% completion level. When I wanted to get a copy of the

bill (they call it folio) they told me that they can send it by email.

I thought that was nice and clicked on the button. I was taken to a

screen where I was asked to input my email address, name and phone

number. All I had was a remote control with numbers on it. Go figure!

I had to stop at the reception and finish the formalities. If only

Marriott had finished the other 10% of the project, they would have

saved time for me and them :)


Related Articles:

Posted in the Distinguish yourself, Main Page category.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend   

5 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on November 6th, 2005

Fantastic! What a great example of raising expectations – then crushing them with the great boot of frustration…

They went from a company who made your life easier – to one who seemed to go out of their way to frustrate you – all in the space of the last 10%.

Keep these interesting posts coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the laugh.

Anonymous  on November 9th, 2005

Thanks Mathew for stopping by and for the kind words.



Anonymous  on November 16th, 2005

Excellent !! This is my first visit to your blog and I am totally impressed and now registered as well.

Anonymous  on November 16th, 2005

Welcome Harish and thank you for subscribing..



Anonymous  on January 9th, 2006


This is my first visit to your blog and I found it very impressive and relevant. I am in software and telecommute as I have a baby. I am under constant pressure to “distinguish myself”.

Thank You.


Leave a Comment