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Saturday, May 16, 2009

There is Always Something

Edit: I re-read this and it really is quite a ramble. You have been warned. I often say, "there is always something to do on the boat project". And I do believe that. It is just that sometimes it doesn't "seem" like I am doing a lot, even to myself. And by that I mean not doing much cutting, grinding, glassing, crawling around the boat, etc. Some weekends, there is just none of that for various reasons. This has lead me to an observation about how the typical "sub projects" of this build out have played out. It usually goes like this For any given sub-project
  1. Do any necessary design work and finalize design decisions
  2. Identify, source, find the money, and order any material/parts needed for that project
  3. In a flurry of energy, actually get dirty with the "physical" work of installing/finishing that project
Usually, there is some iteration within each of those steps. Furthermore a sub-project can get stalled on anyone of those steps. Often on "indecision on design" or "finding the money". But the overall stage of the project is such that there are many "sub-projects" in parallel. Many of the initial projects, which involved a lot of effort, were serial in nature. Meaning the next project could not be started till the previous one was complete. Early on, things had to go in this order...
  1. Fix keel
  2. Glass bilge
  3. Install floor
  4. Install bulkheads
  5. Install tanks
  6. Bond deck to hull
All were pretty "large effort" projects. Now things are such that a number of sub-projects have/can be branched in parallel, grouped in their own "serialized" order. Often easier to group them by area. For example V-Berth:
  1. Fabricate and install staysail chainplate
  2. Choose, purchase and install upper chain locker deck hatch
  3. Install accomodations for wash-down pump
  4. Glass/wall-in upper chainlocker
  5. Finish aux tank fabrication under v-berth
Fwd Head:
  1. finalize pocket door mechanism
  2. finalize head interior design
  3. rough in vanity cabinetry
  4. rough in "shower stall" cabinetry
  5. install head plumbing
  6. fabricate shower sump
And so on. So now the big project is made of a number of smaller paralell projects. This to be expected of course, but when you are just one person, keeping things on track tends to be a bit of a challenge.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Between Judy's requests late at night and finding my self earlier reading this latest post of yours I will have to break for sleep. I just had to say how very similar your conclusion about the larger serial tasks vs parallel tasks is to my own thoughts. I keep trying to convince myself that with 10 or so parallel tasks I can always find something to be done, however there is always the design element which has one standing around building bits in one's mind onto the existing infrastructure.