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|*| Case Study:

FUTURE CONVERSATIONS > in the now:

Situation > Solution > Result:

RESULTS > Value Production via Grounded Truth;


image via: ventureburn.com

[ The Carroll Street Project ]:

Grounded Truth…

an urban development contrast story:

Scene One; Presentation review meeting, architects office. Architect, Developer, Finance representatives present. Concern is being voiced relative to height restrictions of [ x — address ], the smaller of the two buildings. That street has a lower height restriction. Maximized useage calls for a roof-top terrace setting, protected for wind, though not restricting the view.

All attendees are tense, though hopeful. They’ve been through this process before.

This time they are going to use a new engine for engaging in positive narratives around the development process. They are going to use GeoSimCities Virtual Vancouver to Experience Valuable Insight.

Scene Two; Actual presentation, city redevelopment, building and planning meeting. Architect, Developer, Finance and City Representatives present.

The architect brings up the GeoSimCities Virtual Vancouver engine on a screen that all can readily see.

All attendees are curious. This is something new.

The view is reminiscent of the buildings that are there. You just walked by this exact spot yesterday, there’s the sign [ y-message ].

Someone offers a recent photo from their project package. That’s imported into the engine and overlayed into place. The match up has taken place. They are all feeling more comfortable. The visuals match. Trust was just built.

As the mood shifts one can sense the feeling of possibility in the room. Working around a grounded visual truth opens up new conversational possibilities. Basics are covered quickly through the visual.

The height issue is broached as an anticipated concern. By quickly orienting in the engine it is explained that the top of the lower building can actually be seen from the street. But only with the tree layer turned off. The trees obscure the view and become a non-issue.

Focus is reoriented around the utility/light poles feeding the project. Space is critical and the access panels must be accessible. The detail quickly checked within the engine’s capablity for precision and resolution. Everything checks out. Meeting adjourned with everyone feeling positive about next steps.

Removing Coordination Waste From The Process:

Imagine the value of those engaged in an uplifting mood. Imagine the time saved anticipating, worrying about, and inventing limited solutions. Imagine the time saved in resolving concerns before they are even voiced, and the ability to get core issues addressed in a more timely fashion.

In just these two meetings Virtual Vancouver has saved approximately 20–40 work hours for those touching the project.


“What this validated for me was my contention that we are providing a space for new and better kinds of conversations about the future.”

As Weisinger points out; “What this [the 325 Carroll project] validated for me was my contention that we are providing a space for new and better kinds of conversations about the future.”

Let’s take a look at defining “better.” Let’s look from, perhaps an all too common set of circumstances. Circumstances that we’ve come to see as “normal.”


ANY DAY, ANY CITY:

Scene One; Presentation review meeting, architect’s office. Architect, Developer, Finance representatives present. Concern is being voiced relative to height restrictions of [ x — address ], the smaller of the two buildings. That street has a lower height restriction. Maximized useage calls for a roof-top terrace setting, protected for wind, though not restricting the view.

All attendees are tense. They are trying their best to feel neutral, like they had at least a 50/50 chance. They’ve been through this process before. The conversation could go anywhere.

They’ve produced the typical package; [refine> reports, pictures, 2d renderings, scale model(?)].

Scene Two; Actual presentation, city redevelopment, building and planning meeting. Architect, Developer, Finance and City Representatives present.

The mood is fear and disquiet. Some people know some people. Introductions go round and the conversation migrates to the project. An orientation begins.

The prospective concern is the height of the smaller building. The height relative to a small community space on the top of the building with a patio and glass enclosure. Speculation begins as to whether this area could be seen from the street. Meeting attendees imagine themselves in this scenario, or not. Some, granted, their heads slightly elsewhere — if even for a moment.

Not too many people would notice, perhaps, that a dance of trust has begun. What can we trust? Who do we know? Where do our beliefs lie in relation to the scenario before us? The story of the future being told, will it really look like that?…

A million seemingly unaswerable questions.

Someone finally responds. This looks interesting. We’ll need a bit more study on that height. Do you have a more accurate plan and detail to discover specifics that we will need for a variance?…

“There it is. The nail in the tire. The delay in approval that will unleash a series of parallel costs.”

The following activities ensue: [insert grounded list][ ~X$ ]…


COORDINATION WASTE and REDEFINING VALUE:

“We went straight to the part where we could say ‘here’s the problem’ — then we showed the overlay of the photo, so they could see the reality — then we spun the light source around, so they could really see it — and it allowed them to engage with the project in a way that would have been impossible with traditional 3d autocad.”

The downside of not producing clarity fast is the loss of risk mitigation. We work to mitigating risk up front as a way of reducing costs. What was averted by the ability to quickly see is the possibility of being turned away. Three or four weeks of architecture consulting [@$5K/wk.] and the cost of one month delay on the project.

The city too has expensed a cost in its preparation and review time.Moving decisions out into the future is often wise. Though, there is a cost non-the-less. The cost of spending time to effectually produce nothing in moving the thing [the proposal] forward. And, in this model we are going to include lost opportunity cost. The cost of producing backlog through the inability to produce an actual forward motion result elsewhere.

Proposal risks averted via virtual model: EST. SAVINGS [ ~$15–20K ]…

Review risks averted via virtual model: EST. SAVINGS [ ~$20–40K ]…

The true cost of current Coordination Waste gets even deeper and wider.Imagine for a moment the cascading value of being able to address potential issues quickly. In the Carroll Street Project the ability to generate trust in what what being proposed was the ability to cut straight to it. The process of synching the participants world view of the subject area with the virtual model took less than five (5) minutes. Dealing with the issue head on built trust, which then opened the door to the next valuable conversation. In this case, relating to hydro pole panel access. And, another possibility opens for address of mutual concerns. And, another, or adjourn.

Contrast that value with the negative energy surrounding the inability to get question one handled in follow on meetings. “Well, they wasted our time last meeting, so I wouldn’t expect much.” Setting the proposing participants to have to jump twice as high in the future to break even.

The downward spiral of trust generally produces 100% waste. Wasted ability to coordinate. Another meeting, another $30–60K potentially down the drain.

Coordination Waste continues to pile on the cost when we begin to map such waste to the whole system. And, to talk about the whole system, we have to begin to talk about city operating costs. All the operating costs, including the hightly volatile line item of unfunded pension liability.

Driving waste out of systems is the next frontier of the perhaps temporarily stalled productivity improvement campaign that began long ago. Our declaration is that virtual models can indeed allow for the experience of valuable insight.

On behalf of the whole NewCo team; we appreciate your interest and look forward to being of value!

Experience Valuable Insight