These articles can almost always be simplified into:
"Great" (i.e. highly productive, effective workers who produce great results) <worker types> do:
Business goal analysis
Root cause analysis
Current and Future contingency analysis
Lessons learned analysis
... and implementation where it makes sense!
Project planning to an appropriate level
Design to an appropriate level
Task modification so in the future, it's better/quicker/simpler/easier/more reliable/etc.
Tool modification so in the future, it's better/quicker/simpler/easier/more reliable/etc.
Document to an appropriate level
Or, to put it in a simpler fashion:
PPPPPPP (Proper Previous Planning Prevents [Profoundly] Poor Performance)
It really doesn't matter what work you're doing, most of these things still apply - whether preventative maintenance is DBCC CHECKDB or making sure your knitting needles aren't cracking, it's still important. Whether task modification is automating a task using SQL Server, or deciding that you'll back Chevy Volts onto the lift so the battery's closer to the equipment required, it's still taking time to think now to save time doing in the future.
All the specifics are just implementations of the general idea of: Always try to make the next time go better.