Been I while since I’ve posted on here or answered any posts.
I want to get other peoples comments about something I’m going through. I have currently just changed jobs, after 3 yrs with a national manufacturing company I left and started with a small business which designs kids’ playgrounds. Sounds like a cool job, and I think in time it will be, however. This is a really small business with only the boss, me and 1 other designer.
As soon as I have started I have been placed on the closing stages of a project worth around $250,000, and what’s happened is the design of the parts has had to be modified (very quickly) to suit some changes on the building site. All I could work from were Architect drawings and when compared to site measurements were different.
To make a long story short, I have made changes to the parts, they are off being manufactured and I have made drawings for the site foreman to pre-drill some beams to make our installation easier. All of this had been instructed by my boss.
I don’t have the confidence in what’s has been rushed through the past few weeks and I know there will be some issues, to what severity I don’t know. If this comes back onto me and I get the blame should I think of that as fair considering.
- I have never worked in the playground industry before.
- Had no history knowledge about the project
- New to the position
- Had limited support from my boss.
What do people think?
Might seem like I’m venting, but I’m not sure if maybe I need a slap and told to wake up to myself.
You situation is familiar in the manufacturing sector. Especially since you came in on the closing stages of this project, how could you know the ins and outs of all of it in such a short time?
What you should ask yourself is this:
What didn’t I like about how this project went? What went wrong, and when? What went right to do for next time?
Architecturals and field dimensions will NEVER match. So never expect them to. Never manufacture from architectural drawings. Always coordinate with the contractors as they are on site doing the work seeing what’s different and what’s not.
Will it be your fault if something goes wrong? Probably. Should you be punished or fired for it? No. If they do, you don’t want to work there. Everyone makes mistakes and in your industry there is probably a steep learning curve.
I appreciate the feedback, as always I will do my best and see how far i get. I’ll take it all as experience and if it doesn’t work out here then there are always others opportunities.
That’s the best attitude to have. Don’t force it to work for you, but don’t give up on it either.
Agree with all of the above. Been in the situation many times where so many high stakes pieces are coming together at the last minute. The best thing to do is try to stay “loose” and relaxed so that you can make adjustments as the parts come together and stay on top of things. The ability to make things work, is as important, in my opinion, as being able to predict and design around all the might or will go wrong.
In Zurich Switzerland about 8 or so years ago, there was a huge project to rebuild the streetcar tracks around the main station. This was the central connection point for most of the lines in the city a once in a quarter century project. Months if not years of planning and fabrication, the best Swiss engineers, tons of prefabricated parts, etc. Trying to have as little interruption as possible the schedule complete overhaul for the weekend. The old tracks are ripped out, new foundations laid, surveying equipment everywhere, a swarm of activity and cool thermite welding going on everywhere. New tracks are laid in with all of the curving around the station and the streets. All ready to have the asphalt poured in to seal it.
Someone looks down at the tracks and thinks that they seem too close together at on point of the big radius turns. Indeed they discover that the tracks are too close together and the streetcars will contact each other. At the last minute, with all of that at stake, they have to come up with a modified plan, rip it up and fabricate it on the spot. Not the way the Swiss like to do things, at the last minute. For me it emphasized what I had personally discovered during years of manufacturing, there are always surprises, flexibility and finding a solution at each point in time is the key, and adds value.
Great story Shaw!
Just goes to show; Man plans, God laughs.