Monday, July 1, 2013

Didn't I already talk to you people?

Last week was meetings and finding just how many holes there were in our drawings, punctuated by a trip to Biefee, MT meet with some smaller groups of St. Ermahgerd's users. One of the biggest problems we've had with the St. Ermahgerd project is insufficient user group meetings, and it continues to plague us. Generally speaking, we meet with the user groups (the people who will actually use the building, usually grouped by department) during schematic design (SD) and design development (DD). We might have a couple of user group meetings during construction documents (CDs) to discuss special equipment issues, but that's it.

Last week's meetings happened seven weeks after we issued CDs. And the users even asked, "so when are you coming back, Pixie?"

Never, if I have my way about it. But having my way on this matter is about as likely as getting a unicorn to shit in my coffee every morning: not too likely. So, I'll probably have to go back at some point, even though we shouldn't. 

Yet we should. The project kept getting stopped and started over the course of 2012, so the user group meetings kept getting canceled and moved and canceled and moved, hence we never got the full, proper input we needed from the users in a timely fashion. And you have to give users their time--they don't read architectural drawings and understand space the way we do, so they need a certain amount of time and repeat visits to have these conversations and understand what they're getting. And you can't do that in the number of meetings we had. So,we're having to do all these meetings now. And they're still incomplete, and I still feel like I'm about to give these poor people a bad hospital, though God I hope not.

So I'm praying that we have the right information and our professional experience will be adequate to fill in the gaps in this project left behind by the lack of user group meetings. And I'm praying for that unicorn to show up as well.

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