Golf, Life, and Engineering Reply

As I’m watching the Masters golf tournament this Easter weekend, I can’t help but be reminded of the never ending parallels between golf, life, and also our professions such as engineering, architecture, and construction.

Probably the one that stands out to me is that like in golf your success is impacted more by your bad shots than your good ones. Some of the most successful design and construction work occurs with little excitement, fanfare, or accolades. And that’s ok. In engineering it is critical to stay focused and keep your important decisions “in front of you”. Get careless or sloppy and pay a heavy price.

On the importance of follow through. I’s nice to hit a great shot into the green and get full of yourself. Be humble and focus on sinking the 3 foot put waiting at the other end. Because without it, you havent gained anything. Do the same on your projects.

Know when to take risks. Take risks when the reward is worth it but plan carefully and execute them with confidence.

Dont get down if things dont go your way. If  a project starts to go south on you or if you dont like the circumstances, dont write it off or avoid it. Work even harder on your tough or messy tasks. You will usually find that your situation is never as bad as it seems and a good shot is right around the corner.

And of course…..Dont cheat. Use the best equipment. Have fun. If your going to play the game, give 100%.

Finding the Value Target Reply

The value target is the point at which your client receives maximum value for the assets installed in exchange for the capital he chooses to deploy in his project efforts. The value target may be the most expensive option or the least. In finding the value target for a client it is imperative to understand his needs, perceptions, as well as available budget. This is not always an easy task given the many different types of clients, industries, and construction contracts. But it forms one of the fundamentals of project success.

Follow some basic principles.

Study and understand your client.

Dont waste your clients money overengineering systems, rather build in as much flexibility and scalability into your systems as possible.

Begin with the end in mind, as they say. Envision the project completed and what characteristics might provide the most value to the client. How about 5 or 10 years later?

Be open to suggestions. Dont get hung up doing things only one way.

Be neutral. Avoid including personal wants. What you want out of the project is likely of no importance to the client.

Ask questions that will help your client better understand your client’s decisions. Present clear options.

Understand the present and long-term costs of various decision paths and communicate those to your client.

Spend money where it will get used (or valued) the most.

Remember that quality costs less in the long run. Saving money doesnt always lead to the greatest value.

Most importantly…….Treat your client’s money as if it were your own.