One Stop Shop. . .

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      I have spoken at length, on Archiseek, about ‘forking’ of the two traditions in Ireland – Architecture and Planning. Remember difficulties that arose in completing the M50 motorway project? The final solution adopted by Mr. Ahern, was to draw together ‘a one-stop shop’ of experts from various fields, to go and finalise the project. I have no evidence to back up my claim, but I think top brass intelligence must have been hired, to analyse the problem, and decide the most pragmatic course of action, in that instance. The course of action, decided was to re-organise existing resources, into a brand new division, tasked with the completion of the project, and nothing else. In the aftermath of this saga, Ireland is still crippled with an Environmental Design bureaucracy. An Environmental Design bureaucracy, divided up according to speciality, instead of product, project, and customer. The following piece, taken from Thomas J. Peters book, published in 1982, In Search of Excellence will further elaborate on my point. Perhaps, An Taoiseach, and the government could pick up a copy of this book, and study it? Just a daft suggestion.

      Brian O’ Hanlon.

      “Suboptimal” Divisions. A $6 billion organisation we encountered some years ago had organised technical groups into “competency centers” – physics, chemistry, et cetera. These centers had become the primary organisational elements. Projects and products ranked a distant second. The practical outcome of the imbalance was that an individual’s time was hopelessly fragmented. Any person might work on as many as a half-dozen projects associated with his narrow speciality. The project might, in turn, span three or four divisions, two or three groups. The organisation was a disaster. Very little was delivered on time – principally, in our view, because of a lack of commitment and a focus on the wrong things, technical disiplines rather than products, projects, and customers. When the organisation returned, after a five-year hiatus, to a project mode (with technical competency relegated to a distant second), development activities picked up noticeably – and almost overnight.

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