Over the last couple of weeks I’ve thought a few times back to things that happened in the last few years at work, and made some connections between them and other things that happened in other places I have worked. One of the concepts I keep coming back to is that of maintenance - and how often in organisations we focus on the novel, that new project or initiative, rather than maintaining what was already working, or even just the last new thing that we decided to do.
This is all too familiar in both education (where I now work) and the technology sector (where I started my working life)!
They intersect at home, where my son has inherited my interests and we now have various servers running, which he has delighted in setting up and which I now have to remember to maintain (as, not being shiny, he has lost interest in but we as a family have come to rely on - home automation, file sharing, media server, etc).
Even in education, how often do we forget to "maintain" our curriculum? I was so pleased when my director of computing scheduled our final HoD meeting this year as a half day of revisiting the curriculum plans ahead of next year, ensuring that the various medium term plans will at least have a chance to be readdressed *before* the year starts instead of the normal mad-panic of hitting a module and realizing you left it covered in post-its of things that needed tweaking.
Enjoy your new stream of posts, btw, very thought-provoking thanks.
As I was reading this, I was reminded of the builder who was part of the team adding extra classrooms to my school that was going from a junior school to a primary with the increase of the infants up the hill.
He explained that there is an 80/20 split. 80% of the work often takes 20% of the time & it is that last 20% of work that takes 80 percent of the time & cost.
It was easy to see how frustrations crept in when the build itself seemed to go up very quickly. We could see it & got very excited about moving but of course, until that final 20% was completed we couldn't go anywhere.
Maintenance is that 20% that needs to be built in. It is often the boring bits that you con't see, but without it the project (or building) is likely to fall.