I always find IDC's Dan Kusnetzky to be an incredible source of wisdom about all things IT. Lately, Dan shared with me some of what he calls the "Golden Rules of IT."
We're constantly being called upon to work harder to make things more service oriented, proactive, agile, adaptable, flexible, and paradigm shifting. Always remember Dan's Rules as a way to keep things in their proper perspective:
1) If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
2) Don’t touch it, you’ll break it.
3) If you touched it and broke it, it will take longer to fix and cost more than you think. And if there’s a mainframe involved, you may have to bring somebody out of retirement to fix part it. So see Rule 2 and contemplate it seriously before you do anything.
4) If it’s good enough, it’s good enough. Don’t strive to do every little thing, and complete all functions, because by the time you get there, it won’t be needed any more and you’ll be accused of wasting the company’s money.
5) Don’t touch anything unless people are screaming. If they’re not screaming, see Rule 4, good enough is good enough. If they are screaming, see Rule 2, don’t touch it, you’ll break it. And Rule 3, if you touched it and broke it, it will take longer to fix than you think. But if they keep screaming, and you have to do something, touch it as lightly as possible.
6) Embrace your "jerkdom." That is, we all have to be willing to move forward and do the best we can do with what we have even though it's very likely that five to ten years from now, other people will look back and come to the conclusion "what a jerk." No matter how well you do today, five to ten years from now, it will perceived as not having been enough, and not the right thing.