Simply Complex

Without a doubt everything in this world has complication and simplicity. The simplicity can be back loaded or front loaded or sprinkled throughout. Where complication lives more often than not lives between discipline and experience. Without experience and discipline complication will be random and uncontrolled on where it lives. learn how to control it.

What I learned is everyone wants and believes “it” should be simple and if “it” isn’t then someone is to blame. They are right; you cannot hide form complexity, and every process will have complexity somewhere. And without defining “it”, knowing where “it” lives, what part you play in “it”, you may or may not be deal with complexity that you think is stupid or dumb or unnecessary ( you pick your adjective).

At the end of the day every process can be broken down into simple doable steps. Unplanned things will happen and we will either white knuckle react away, or learn to plan in risk in a sensible reasonable amount. This is where experience and discipline come in. Someone who is unexperienced and not disciplined will most definitely white knuckle just about everything they do. they probably move fast in what they do, generally point fingers at others and don’t have time to plan because, “I am to busy right now”

So what is the solution then. We all want to just start, whatever we are doing. How many times have you purchased something that came with a manual, skipped the manual only to pick up after you have extra parts, or became confused. Its human nature. Well its also human nature to hit things when we are angry. Good way to break a hand, luckily we learn not to act upon that human nature very young. The answer goes agains everything that makes sense. To go fast you slow down.

Here is the magic

  • Front load risks
  • Record Issues
  • Don’t do things you don’t know how to do, get someone who does and learn from them
  • rinse repeat

It takes time and discipline when you have a tight deadline, and everything inside of you saying, I can’t think about what could go wrong because failing the deadline will happen if I do that. But without doing a risk analysis, and putting a few things in place as a plan b if these risks come true, or simply agreeing and communicating to stakeholders acceptance of an error if it where to come actually does not take too long if you practice it.

And when things do go wrong, record then. Don’t write a book, but just a few sentences. Situation, what you expected, what went wrong, what you are going to try and do. Keep this log in a central place. I have a spreadsheet on google drive. you can keep it anywhere. just make sure it is really easy to get to. And categorize this list. you will use this during your next risk planning.

And last, if you are no good performing auto body work, do not try and do body work for your customer. it will look like crap, and you might as well miss the deadline. I used the metaphors because it is very visual. A football coach would not ask the punter to through the football unless desperate. If your coach asked you to do something you know you are not good at, find a way to get someone else to help you. Lean on someone, reach out to someone, pay someone, do whatever you can to get help. do not try and do it yourself completely regardless of expectations. And communicate what you are doing. If the coach is worth their salt, they will recognized good operating and not see it as a weakness.

Finally, make this a habit regardless of how small the project is. Birthday party, Bird House or building a house, starting a business. If the project is really a bunch of projects, make sure to break those apart. That is for another article. Good luck and remember messy is complicated and takes time to clean up.

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