Be careful what you ask for

I’ve had a tendency over my last few jobs to arrive mid-flow in a project. Not as the cavalry, but that’s the way it has happened. I call it “Arriving as the train left the station” approach.

That has resulted in umber of benefits. Firstly, I wasn’t part of the decision making. That’s both good and bad in some ways, but then secondly, you can then analyse and question why decisions were made with a critical mind.

I’ve recently helped a colleague unpick an issue. All I was hearing was ‘Well, it doesn’t work’; and ‘We told them what we wanted and we get this.’ At this stage emotions are high. On analysis, I asked to see what decisions were made and by whom. It turns out what they needed they rejected on aesthetics and worked hard (literally) to meet the norm now, while functional, created new problems in an electronic environment.

Perceptions, especially when working with other professions in development and design are important. What they think you’re getting and what you are getting are two different things and we have to be reminded as I was once told and is true by a very wise Dame that:

Form follows function

So my advice in determining what you want versus what you need
1: Be clear what you want and why, don’t stick to the norm and especially the now, because the now will be the past in the future.
2: While technical solutions won’t replicate what you have now, they may enable reform and transform for you to see what you expect and also give you opportunities the ‘now’ wont deliver.
3: More importantly, it’s about the patient. If it’s not enabling the patient or giving the right information about the patient, frankly, why are we doing it?

And finally, do be careful what you ask for, because, when you get it, it may not be what you wanted, or expected.

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