As we go through the daily grind and deadlines come and go we focus on the short term. Get things done as well as they need to and move on to the next thing only achieving the goals that we need now.
For the short term this is great, it reduces costs and gives us speed as we focus on only what is needed here and now. The problem rears it’s head when the project we worked on 6-12 months ago comes back around and now we need it to do the same task differently or a whole new task. A lot of the time going back and modifying an existing project can take longer and cost more than if it had been built with it from the start.
The better option then is to anticipate the future when you first design it so you can add, remove, or modify it in the future quickly and easily. Obviously you can’t do it all the time and you can’t anticipate every option but when there is time and when the cost makes sense take the time to think about the future and where you might need to take it. Some things won’t get used and will end up being a total waste but others will save the day more than once.
It’s something you use in your daily life outside of work as well but the thought of waste can hold us back in the work world. Think about when you’re remodeling where you live. You add in an extra power outlet that won’t be used or build in an extra bedroom that you have no use for yet. You build in waste because you can see that maybe one day you move the tv over to that outlet or you host the holidays one year and need the extra bed room. But by building options in while you’re doing the work you save money in the future by not having to bring the walls down and start all over. Take time to think about the different paths you may take in your work environment in the future and where you can build in waste that may save you more in the future.
Innovation Engineering can help you remove those mental barriors with a systematic method to innovation.