Are green fields always swamps?

My family are currently building a pond in our back garden. Two days, say the manuals. Two months, says my back – if you’re lucky.

The trouble is, the pond is only one project we have in hand. Half the garden in being redeveloped – an 8-metre fir has been uprooted, the old (and, it turns out, asbestos-lined) summerhouse has been demolished, a new greenhouse (right by the pond) has gone up, the beds have all been massively redesigned, half the major shrubs have been moved (and probably killed), the shed has had to be completely rearranged to accommodate a ton of drying firewood…

Not so much green field then as builder’s yard – or now, after we have tramped all over it for weeks on end and dug up everything and dumped three tons of topsoil and dug up half of it at least twice just to get going – swamp. No wonder it’s taken so long to complete the pond. The plan is in flux, everything around it is being changed, the very earth is unstable.

How like a so-called ‘green field’ site. And how very unlike a real green field. Had we just left everything else alone, we could have simply dug a pond into nice stable earth and lawn, and quite possibly done it in two days. Instead, just like our back garden, on a ‘green field’ site, everyone is trampling over it, struggling to execute their conflicting projects and making hundreds of quick fixes and claiming this space here and that system there.

And like most of the programmes I have worked on – the whole management processes, architecture, systems and data is often the last thing to be created, so everything is just like a swamp – so many interim and temporary solutions, almost all of which will gel into permanent – and permanently obstructive – blots on the landscape.

Ho hum…

 

By |2018-01-18T14:49:58+00:00Tuesday, September 11 2012|Categories: All, Change, Management systems, Process and method, Programme management, Quality|0 Comments

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