Good Enough For Who It’s For….

By Becky Ferrell


Those of you who have read my previous blogs already know I grew up in a rather unconventional way……spending A LOT of time with my father, who was a jack-of-all-trades, but unusually, a master-of-most.   For those who know this, feel free to skip the next paragraph.


My Introduction to Quality

Because I was a “daddy’s girl” AND a tomboy, Dad was happy to let me tag along and work with him on home and car projects. Over the years, I learned car mechanics and body repairs and mastered home repairs, such as drywall hanging and finishing, copper pipe sweating, carpentry, roofing, etc.  His rules were simple, but uncompromising:

  • In all things you do, do it right and with pride in your work.
  • Clean-up and proper replacement of tools was part of the job.

The quickest way to end our time together was to violate one of those rules.  I learned them well.  Not to say Dad wasn’t open to learning new methods…he was…as long as it resulted in the same level of quality.


Quality Standards at Home

With my arsenal of Dad’s teachings firmly engrained, I was never shy about taking on home improvement projects in the houses I’ve owned.  Whether it was hanging traverse rods, laying flooring, repairing plumbing, clearing a clogged mower on the tractor or tearing down a wall, I never thought twice about tackling these projects with little or no help. There is a downside to this, though, in real life.

I bought a house that had a very, very poorly laid out kitchen.  With not enough money in the budget to buy all new cabinets, I decided to rearrange the current kitchen into a more functional layout.  This required removing countertops and taking them to the basement where I had a plan to later use them, unfastening the cupboards (uppers and lowers), rearranging them in the layout I had drawn, and fastening them in place.  New tile countertops (then the fad) would be the finishing touch, and the only real cost to the project.  All of this work I had done already with my father, and I planned on surprising him at his next visit with the completed project.


Good Enough is NOT Good Enough

I was well into my plan, everything dismantled, and starting to reposition the cabinets when a knock at my door signaled a visitor.  Opening the door, I found a friend from work.  Looking over my shoulder, he asked “what the heck are you doing?” followed by “who’s helping?”  THAT last question should have been my first clue, but I chose to ignore it.  Inviting him in, I served him a cup of coffee and gave a short overview of my plan.  Not surprisingly, he offered to help.  Knowing he did some remodeling, I accepted his offer and gave him the task of fastening the cabinets in the corner as I worked on another section.

A few minutes later, I looked over and was astonished at the “less than stellar” quality of his work.  Interrupting him, I tried politely to explain, “uh, that’s not the way you fasten those together.” His quick reply over his shoulder was “good enough for who it’s for.”   My sharp intake of breath made him look at me. Holding his jacket out to him, I pointed to the door and said “DOOR!”


As I tore apart the work he had done, I said “NO, DOOR!  That’s NOT how I work and not what I expect from people who work with me! DOOR!”

He left. After a DEEP breath, I continued my project. Needless to say, the next day at work was interesting, but another time….

Taking Pride in the Result

WHY do I recount this story?  Because I have run into this mindset of “good enough for who it’s for” at plants in the past and continue to find it with some clients currently.  In some cases, it’s the result of following prior recommendations that yield a small amount of improvement but not the quality that really is needed, deserved, or desired.  Certainly, there is a time and place to “step into” a major improvement, but that should be done with a plan and detailed steps, along with KPIs to ensure you’re making progress toward that quality result.

There’s a need to ensure you’re working with resources who take pride in their work, and who illuminate the path for you and your company to be the best.


HVM resources are experienced professionals who not only take pride in their work, but have DONE the work. Our focus and priority are to ensure you, the client, receive “best in class” recommendations and support. You’ll never find any of our associates using or supporting a “good enough for who it’s for” process or result.

Give us a call – you’ll be pleased with the quality of our work and your result!


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