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The Worlds of Facility Management and Workplace are, by definition, highly mobile and evolutive.

On these pages, you will find technical articles, news, reports on congresses and conferences in which Spaceonmove took part as well as positions or “mood tickets” which should give you a particular insight into these two fields. Nice readings.

When too much detail kills the idea

At one time or another, we’ve all had to deal with colleagues who are experts in everything and who see details as ends.

When this remains on a “normal” scale, it is acceptable, even amusing. However, this desire to control and master everything down to the last detail can become pathological, at the risk of blocking any idea or project.

When a complex project is approached in detail, it is almost impossible to start it, to continue it or, worse still, to finish it. Indeed, there are always very good opportunities - often very factual ones at that - to modify a project, alter it or even put it on hold: it takes incredible strength and great resilience to force fate and bring the project back to its original goal and bring it to fruition.

Having had the ‘privilege’ of seeing this happen many times during my professional career, it’s clear that it’s often not the facts that are the blocking factors, but the people in charge of the project and sometimes the sponsors themselves!

There are several categories of “blockers”. Here are a few examples:

• The meta-blocker: everything is a problem, everyone else is incompetent, resources are always lacking, and deadlines are unrealistic.

• The pea-counter in the can: no solution can be envisaged in macro mode: everything must be adjusted, calculated, and fine-tuned before it starts, otherwise it won’t work, and no decision can be taken.

• The satisfied with dysfunctions: his source of life is fed by the errors of others and systems: it’s almost a pleasure for him, but it simply allows him to avoid his own existential crisis.

• The frustrated: only sees the problems, never the solutions. This is the person who declaims “yes, but…”, “we have to…”, “you didn’t think of that…” and so on. Great theories, nothing concrete, ever!

• The invader: knows everything about everything and everyone and feels it’s their duty to take a stand on everything: they know so much that other people are bad, or even non-essential.

• The false helper: this is the person who is fundamentally honest and positive, who gives the impression of being active, even hyperactive, but who is incapable of delivering anything on his own. In other words, he gives the impression of being active, but produces nothing of substance.

This list is (unfortunately) not exhaustive. What’s more, some people tick more than one box at the same time! These people are toxic for the project and for the people dedicated to it.

It’s true that the details are important if the solution is to be attractive, intuitive and offer high added value, but there’s a time for everything and that’s where the problem often lies.

You must know how to take a step back in a project, maintain an overview while being very concrete and pragmatic. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but that’s the role of a good project coordinator or ‘facilitator’. It often requires a great deal of tact and resilience to ensure that the score is played correctly by all the players.

Finally, there is often evidence that the composition of project teams is not considered carefully enough: managers often appoint people for the wrong reasons. Whenever possible, the project manager, coordinator or “facilitator” should quickly address the situation to rectify it.

Have a good start to the summer, enjoy your projects, happy reading and see you soon.

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