A shout out to those that deliver

Postal workers, yes, shout out to them also.

But I’m talking more about people that ‘deliver’ the end part of a project.

Before I get in to it: I’m not overly bothered about using the word delivery to mean ‘finishing a thing‘ or ‘proving the service you’ve been hired to do’. Maybe it’s good to be mindful and not to use it when telling people at parties about what you do, but in the right industry context, it seems like a useful word. I digress.

I’m not totally sure why these thoughts have been in my mind this weekend, but something about the occasional unfairness of projects has been bugging me.

What I mean by this is that the highest risk of blame for a project that hasn’t gone to plan, tends to land on the people delivering it at the end. Most often though, they’re not the ones that actually made the plan or did the pitch in the first place.

A case of ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ feels fair to exclaim, but rarely is it believed. The feeling seems more often to be ‘if only they had delivered on what was surely a very good plan.’

Worse yet, when projects do go to plan, those at the end tend not to get the praise either. That’s usually reserved for the planners. The people at the start. If it works, it’s seen as their skill. If it fails, it’s the fault of those at the end.

It can be an effect win win for those at the start (or at least a ‘not my fault it turned out wrong’ or ‘totally thanks to me it turned out well). But all too often a lose lose for those involved in delivery.

The more I write the more I am sure why this has been in my mind. I’ve been watching architecture programmes and talking to architects, and also doing DIY and thinking about building projects. I’ve done an extension project before, and half restored a house, so I’m familiar with this area of work. But I’m not brilliant at it myself.

I am very very appreciative and impressed when it goes well though. And in my experience I can almost always trace the ultimate success to the people that did the final parts of the delivery. Yea, there could also have been a great designer, and in those cases the success should be shared, but for the most part, no planning is ever perfect.

The people that deliver always have to figure things out and solve unforeseen issues. I love to see it happening. And wish others would see it as important as it is. I think delivery needs to be appreciated more, basically.

If ever you get a chance to go on to a building site, or to sit and work with engineers, take it. Better yet, just focus on a skilled plasterer do what they do, or a really experienced developer connecting multiple systems, and think how awful the finish of the whole thing would be if they didn’t deliver. Tiny details. Big impact. More respect.