Managing Large Projects as Tapestries

So we have a large project coming up soon, in a couple of weeks as a matter of fact.

For months we’ve been working on small to medium sized projects so the question we’re asking ourselves is how we’ll translate what we know about small projects into big ones.

A small project for us might be five to ten windows. A medium sized project might be ten to twenty and a large project would be twenty windows and beyond. The project we’re about to undertake is seventy windows of all sorts of sizes, shapes and configurations, on a three story building. So not only is it large, it is super sized In comparison to what we’ve been accustomed.

Lynda and I put video podcast together yesterday that captured our discussion about it. You can watch/listen to it below in episode 3 of The Chronic Artisan. In it I described the process in terms of proper sequencing. Every window we work on follows a sequence. Working on multiple windows follows a similar but slightly modified sequence. The trick as I described it, is to properly sequence the sequences. That works, but I stumbled upon a better way to describe it just now.

Anyone who’s undertaken projects of their own can understand what it’s like for a project to become tangled. By tangled we simply mean that the project hasn’t gone as planned, activities are out of order and the work has taken on an element of chaos. We bail ourselves out by sheer willpower and talent and hope it doesn’t happen again. If you’ve undertaken projects of your own, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s painful.

That a project can be tangled implies interwoven threads. Threads interwoven properly make a tapestry.