Cowshed Projects - Better projects and profit from flexible project management
Decisions don’t matter unless you don’t make them.
A series of blogs of lessons learnt or re learnt from a recent project, after all we all have room and need to keep learning!
There were several times that the project progress in design and specification hit an impasse with both designers and client not willing or able to make a decision. As these moments linger you lose time and money and as tempting as it is to wait to avoid making the wrong decision, they don’t go away.
On this project it was not the fault of either party, they just didn’t have either the client’s awareness of what was needed or the designer’s awareness of what was possible.
It's easy to put these moments off, they usually occur when there is no obviously more right answer or solution, but in directing these to a decision we were able to move on and have some certainty. Reducing cost and program creep.
Looking back there is very little evidence that those decisions would have been detrimental to the project had an alternate decision been made. The only detriment would have been if left, by the time when we came to make the decision there would have been less money in the pot and it would have caused delays to other items that relied on that decision to progress themselves.
As with all decisions there is too quick, to slow and not at all. Not at all is the worst thing. If nothing is consciously done about a decision it effects all the other decisions that have to be made because of it. It creates extreme uncertainty which snowballs.
This means extra time and cost is spent finding out that there is no certainty and waiting to find out what that decision will be to affect the next decision.
Here's the trick, first understand that there is more than one right decision, so most decisions are right, you can’t lose. You can also make the decision not to decide until X is known.
I know it may sound counter intuitive or even obvious, but in making a conscious decision until you have the right information to make that decision it allows everyone to move forward with some certainty that they must work around the lack of decision in the interim and find that X.
If not, the uncertainty provokes blame and stagnation.
Thanks for reading
Hi I'm Simon. I've worked in projects for a while now, either management or design. I love projects but they're frustrating. Hope some of this help you.