Yesterday, I was doing some work on the concrete floor of the new office we're about to move into, just a short walk from our current HQ. The whole place is getting refurbished before we move in and I volunteered to repair the floor myself.
So, I'm working away and the painter starts asking me which bits he has to paint. I'm as helpful as I can be, but I end up calling the landlord, since he's the client footing the bill. There's a lot of back and forth and misunderstandings and I'm thinking: "Well, this is typical". When you've got lots of little things to do then something always gets messed up and misunderstood.
But hang on... this stuff isn't rocket science. Isn't this why writing was invented? We have way more complexities with even the smallest software project here at MyBuilder and our stuff runs like clockwork. So, being an office jockey now, I had this amazingly innovative idea: why not write it down?
Yeah, you might have written it down for the contractor, but that's not enough. You could simply type up the whole scope of the project in clear, plain English, print out a few copies on a single sheet of A4 with a nice big font and tape them to the windows. And when stuff is done, it can just be marked off on the page for everyone to see. Simple clarity.
In my years of working on building sites it seems that it was often miscommunication that caused disputes, errors or just disappointed clients. This simple, cheap project management solution could save a lot of unnecessary phone calls between the client and the various contractors, stop arguments about who is supposed to be doing what, when, and provide a clear route map for what is still to be done. What's not to like?