Saturday, August 04, 2007

Nothing is as quick as you think it should be

Today I replaced an outdoor light for a friend of my wife's. I figured it would take two hours or so. I took my tools and headed over to install the light. It turned out I needed some conduit, a junction box, some toggle bolts, and a few other tools. I headed out to Home Depot and back home to the tools I needed. I started installing the light. It turned out the toggle bolts were too short. I made another trip to Home Depot.

What was supposed to be a short job ended up taking a good part of Saturday.

A few weeks ago we completed design and the drawings for a piece of process equipment. We (the lead engineer, the designer, and myself) sat down on Thursday morning to do a final review of the drawing package (45 drawings, ~80 sheets) before releasing it to the customer. The plan was to meet quickly and incorporate those final changes.

This was not a design review. We already had a design review. We were simply reviewing the weld notes, quality assurance notes, and material callouts for completeness and consistency. As this was for a piece of nuclear grade equipment going into a nuclear facility these notes are not a triviality. Nonetheless, we expected to be done well before lunch.

We ate lunch in the conference room and finally finished our "short meeting" at five o'clock that afternoon. The customer had initially been told the drawings would be ready Friday morning. It took us two days to incorporate all the changes from that review into the drawing package.

Don't underestimate even the simplest of things.

1 Comments:

Blogger X M Carreira said...

As my boss quoted: there is no simple, fast, cheap and right solution for most of the complex problem.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007  

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