If you live in an over 100 year old house like mine you know there’s a rule of thumb about time and cost for home projects. I call it the Inelasticity of Elderly Houses Rule because no matter how well the original estimate is done any home project will require at least be double and most likely triple the cost and time of your first estimate.
Things are hiding in the walls of old houses. Once we peel back the plaster and lath we may find support beams are sagging, odd repairs from former occupants and the remains of unwelcome former visitors including water, critters and more. Initially the project seems fairly straightforward but as soon as it is too late to go back we find things we had not thought about or didn’t know about that make the work far more complex. Before we fix what we want to fix, we have to fix that, but before we fix that, we have to fix these…
All this additional complication makes us want to toss in the towel but of course we can’t because we can’t leave a big hole in the side of the house.
Association projects are much the same. Whether redesigning a website, integrating a new AMS, developing a new benefit or launching a totally new event, each project will take double or triple the effort we planned for at the outset.
Often times starting a project like this is fun. The planning is fun, the work is fun, brainstorming is fun. There’s energy and excitement at the start of a project as we visualize the outcome. Again at the end of the project the energy and excitement increases as the launch nears. We’re almost there! We can see the end!
It is at the middle of a big project where energy dwindles, excitement wanes and we start asking, is this really a good idea? During this part of the project things start to go wrong, complications compound, schedules slip and nerves fray. You’ll notice that everyone will feel like taking a giant step away from the project. But it is just at this point we need to take a giant step in!