Most of the miles logged by a serious endurance runner – those people who run half marathons, marathons and ultras – are accomplished at an easy pace. Runners who believe it a good idea to run all-out during every training run end up failing at races or worse injuring themselves. Serious runners will have only one or two hard workouts in a week. It’s the daily easy training that builds long term endurance and race capability.
Lean project work is much the same. The daily work should be accomplished at an easy pace – what was the plan for the day, what was done, what surprised us, and what will we do differently because of what we learned? Once a week it is fine to take the time to work hard at addressing a challenging problem, that once solved will result in a sustained improvement to the work. Just never forget the importance of daily, planning and reflection to building a team’s Lean capabilities.
One more point: a serious runner’s easy run can be a hard run for a less accomplished runner, only because that serious runner put in the easy miles when they were less accomplished. Train easy every day as part of a Lean Project team and your easy days will accelerate your project toward excellence.