Planning for Dilapidation

Planning for Dilapidation

Things will break. It’s inevitable.

And This IS Africa. Things will go wrong. They’ll be delayed. And you’ll never be able to understand why. It’s part of doing life here.

Those that design business systems without this in mind are going to fail from the start. If you don’t plan for dilapidation into what you do, you’re thinking is faulty.

Seth Godin writes, "Most failures aren't shocking surprises. The law of large numbers is too strong for that. Instead, they are predictable events that smart designers plan for, instead of wishing them away as rare unpredictable accidents."

So plan for these things!

  • If you know there will be power cuts, then have a lot of windows in your office building so your team can continue working by natural sunlight.
  • If the internet cuts frequently, then ensure that your new software program can work offline and then upload the new data when the internet pops back on.
  • If your client is always late, then plan to do follow-up phone calls while you wait for your meeting to start. In other words, top up on airtime early in the day.
  • If it gets cold in winter, negotiate a deal with your wood supplier to allow you to purchase his best hardwoods in prep for the cold season.

Ask yourself this, “When the glitch happens, does your design fail?"

If so, you’ll never survive here.

Always expect the unexpected and design your life, systems, business, and world around the things that will dilapidate and break.

(photo via un photo)