…or, who is going to see the difference?

Setting priorities is the key when time is limited. But how to decide what is the priority. When in doubt, appropriate question is : Is it Important?

In a time of ever-shortening architectural deadlines there is always a question of what we should spend our time on today. I can’t believe, but also can’t ignore the reality I see around me, of people spending time on whatever is hurting most at this very moment or in case there is no acute pain, on things that are most pleasurable to work on. If priorities are placed in the line based on last-in (one that hurts the most) — first-out, then there is no priority at all. You find yourself at the time of deadline with resolved issues that hurt most, but not with complete product, design, documentation.

When in doubt between the urge to ease the pain (or itch) and priority of a certain task I like to run the issue at hand through few tests:

Is the final user going to see the difference? Even though the final user in the building industry might not be the one that pays my bill, I believe that we owe it to our profession and public in general to ask this question first. In any type of work it’s always safe to ask the final user/customer for his opinion.

Is client going to see the difference? Is this going to get me my next project or make me lose my next project from this or other client.

Are the immediate users of the document going to see the difference? For example, if we are talking about the drawing set — is the contractor going to see the difference?

Is there a possible catastrophic failure as a result of this decision? Catastrophic failure is an event that can break the project or company or myself beyond repair. For example: big lawsuit, loss of contract, impossibility of building it in actual world, endless hours burned out of the fee, breaking the deadline…..

What questions do you ask when deciding priorities?

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