Have you ever spent time with a new puppy? Throw it a ball and it will chase it instinctively. Throw a different ball now and it will lose interest in the first and chase the second. You can amuse yourself for minutes watching the pup zoom all over the place in search of the next speeding ball. When you create a project or architecture vision, it’s like that first ball. You lob it into the air… and then more balls will start flying in from other directions. Some of the people who were quiet during the development of the vision will suddenly find their voice and alternate ideas once the cement trucks arrive to lay down the foundation for the new system. While the foundation may support the new suggested changes, should you allow it or should you protect the original vision and guard against disruptive change?
I believe the answer is Yes. Yes you should allow it and Yes you should protect the vision against disruptive change.
Every general contractor in the world who does private residential builds would reply the same way to the following question. “What’s your biggest challenge?” The “Homeowner” would be the ubiquitous reply I am sure. The architect has drawn the plans, the foundation is in, the frame up and the homeowner decides the kitchen is just too small and it needs to grow by 100%. Good GC’s know this happens on every build to some extent and plan for it with a specified budget, included in the costs and the schedule. We can and should emulate that approach.
Yes we have a project or architecture vision but we should also anticipate and budget for unexpected change.
Now a little later in the cycle the homeowner decides that the master bedroom really needs a walkout deck and a giant patio door on the exterior wall. “I’m sorry, but that’s a load bearing wall and we can’t do that” is an acceptable response to the client. They understand what can’t change if there is a good reason.
Yes we have an architecture or project vision and yes we need to protect the structure that makes the entire solution deliverable within the constraints established by our client. (Normally time, money and risk are near the top of the list)
Now the last part of the situation is where the balls that are being thrown don’t ever seem to stop. That’s not ideas or change, that’s just a mischievous dog owner who takes pleasure in watching the pup exhaust itself. If so, it’s time for it/you to take a break or learn how to bark.
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