Do New Widgets Make It Better?

September 28th, 2013   •   Comments Off   

In preparing for the ASQ Design & Construction Fall Conference (Tucson, AZ, October 1-12, 2013). It occurred to me that my clients were always asking my opinion on the new widget, process or procedure. Will it save them time and money? Now I’m as open as the next person to new sparkly things, but my concern is, and always has been, what’s the return on investment for my client.

I’m planning the speaker line-up for the upcoming ASQ conference and I thought it was a great opportunity to bring together a panel of industry experts to see if what I’ve been thinking about new productivity gadgets is true. If you have all the new widgets, processes, procedures and put them into practice, are they really a value to the customer/client at the end of the project? Can they utilize what you give them, do they have the resources to maintain the process/procedure, or the in house knowledge base to use that new piece of equipment.

My theory is we may find that although we want the latest tools and gadgets, not all of our clients are prepared to expend the funds on a trial, so if you have a track record of performance to show, the value of your gadget would increase.

Let’s take BIM (Building Information Modeling) for instance; all of us want it, but are we prepared to utilize it? Can we use it to its full potential taking it from just the BIM model and optimizing the FIM (Facilities Information Model)  when its handed over to the client at project close-out, so they can use it for facilities management? Do they have the resources to use the product within their respective staff, or are we creating additional costs for them to absorb.

Then there is the quality piece of the puzzle that I always look at, we have the new technologies but are they out-pacing our quality techniques and professionals. Are we preparing the next generation for the realities that await them; I don’t think so. Quality isn’t a glamorous profession,  most of the current ranks of quality professionals didn’t wake up one morning and decide to be an Auditor or Quality Manager; they most probably fell into  it while working with a financial, engineering or construction firm.

So with any new process, gadget or procedure, we need to plan.  I’ll let you know what thoughts the panel shares at the conference. Stay tuned for a more in depth conversation about this.

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