We decided to put underfloor heating in the extension we are building. Lovely warm floor, lower heating costs, and so on. The flooring in the existing house would be continued into the extension making a seamless whole. Wonderful. But then it came time to lay the flooring. And well, that’s when we discovered the flooring doesn’t work with underfloor heating. Architect didn’t tell us. Builder didn’t tell us. No one told us till the flooring was to go down. Solution is to replace flooring everywhere. However the thickness of the old floor is different to the new so that impacts stairs, doors, skirting boards, kitchen cabinets, and so on. The story goes on.
Knock on effects are everywhere. In building projects, in social events, in writing papers, crunching numbers, and in digital transformation. Everywhere. And often we only see in part, see what is in front of us. We rarely are like chess masters who ‘see’ the whole game from the first move.
But here’s the thing – chess masters don’t start as masters, they learn. Good project managers of building works start off learn as they go. Yes, knock on effects are everywhere, but we can become better at seeing them beforehand.
Much of the data interoperability conversations are about one instance, one project, one situation. But there are countless knock on effects. Therefore, perhaps part of our conversations need to be dedicated to identifying them. Because once we rip out the floor, it’s hard to put it back the way it was.
What knock on effect do you see in your work today?