Simplifying the Hobby
As I was lying in bed the other night, I got to thinking about projects, complexity, and management.
Yes, I go to sleep thinking about that stuff.
Traditionally, the prevailing wisdom is that regular business management — or more specialized project management — exists to coordinate people and the views I've come across surrounding that thinking is that complexity only exists where people are concerned. Otherwise, the common view is that you can just use a list to get things done.
While under most circumstances I would agree, car projects are a different beast.
Car projects are complex without adding people to the mix and they are complex because timing, not just sequence, is a critical component.
Not only that, but there's often a need to have subcontractors working on a project, also known as transmission builders, body shops, or any other of the numerous service businesses that may be required. A situation where there isn't people management, exactly, but there's definitely management occurring for the dispersal of work.
Finally, the last area of complexity is the technical complexity of a restoration, custom build, or even a major rebuild. Not only are the technical specifications complex, but the sheer number of parts to keep track of can be daunting.
When it comes right down to it, one of the most critical skills and areas of knowledge a car hobbiest can have isn't a hands-on skill or even technical knowledge of a car, but project management.
Although that just adds one more thing to be concerned about to an already overwhelming list of things, I think that it holds the key to hobby success and even more important, the better the management system in place, the less complex and overwhelming what's being managed becomes.