When we want to get something done, generally we decide on our goal, define exactly what we want to do, develop that and then deliver it. We try to do this often as a linear process, deciding everything upfront before we design and build, achieving something as good as possible before releasing it.
Realistically, when we are doing something we have not done before, it will take us a few attempts at least to achieve the result we are seeking. It may be that we have to continue to revise the solution to get the benefits and value we require.
In order to achieve the best performance possible there is a cycle of practice and rehearsal that we must undertake to form the habit and allow ourselves to get used to doing things a particular way.
The more we do something, generally the better we get at it; we are able to automate ourselves and even carry out tasks without any conscious effort, such as driving a car or riding a bike. It becomes second nature and easy to replicate without much conscious effort.
Interestingly, though, often the reason activities become ineffective or stuck over time is because we have become too habitual and not stopped to review and change our ways in order to maintain performance.
Each time we repeat the action we refine and hone it and get closer to success until, finally, we reach a point where we are satisfied with the result. In this sense, it is not really failing if the result gets us closer to success and we continue to experiment until we reach a satisfactory outcome.
There is no such thing as failure if we choose to learn from it in order to be successful at a later date. The journey to success can feel like a game of Snakes and Ladders: there will be shortcuts and setbacks along the way, which we need to identify and respond to, and we cannot predict them all.
Satisfaction does not necessarily mean literal perfection, but it does mean it is good enough to satisfy the requirements. We may need to refine this further, tweak and develop again further along in time, but a good enough solution is often as much as is needed. Things rarely happen in the way we picture they will. We need a method that allows us to embrace the situation as it unfolds and make decisions as necessary to keep us on track towards our goals, and even change our goals, if that is the right thing to do.
You may not have any time for breaking new ground, commonly known as firefighting, and this leaves little or no time to consolidate learning and ensure work is as efficient and effective as it needs to be. The ideal is to achieve a balance of comfort and consistency with a framework that enables us to review and improve constantly. Analysing the reality can help us to find where the value is generated, while identifying inefficient and non-value-adding activities that may be unnecessary.