It’s in the Detail

This week I’ve been working on a number of future projects.  One of them involves some very low altitude BASE jumps.  Another involves a series of high altitude wingsuit flights.  These projects differ hugely but both of them need extraordinary attention to detail; failure in this area really could be fatal.

Attention to Detail.  Alastair Macartney stands on the exit point during the Extreme World Championships assessing the detail below him.

Attention to Detail. Alastair Macartney stands on the exit point during the Extreme World Championships assessing the detail below him.

Project managing these aerial activities involves meticulous planning and the utmost attention to detail.  I’ve blogged about the Jump4Heroes Eiger wingsuit human flight formation before and techniques to mitigate and achieve high risk activities.  In achieving these high risk activities every ounce of detail needs to be understood.  Missing something is often not an option.

The scale of the project isn’t important.  Big or small, the detail must be attended to.  The bigger the project, the higher the amount of detail you are likely to come across – but it doesn’t necessarily make any of it less important.  However, you can, over time, make it easier.

The more you attend to the detail the easier it becomes.  Here’s why:

  • Productive and Efficient.  You become more productive and efficient in dealing with it.  As you deal with these details more and more you will find your own effective system that works for you.  Handle the details in a timely and efficient manner and remember how you did it.
  • Be Effective.  Have you dealt with one of these issues before or a similar one?  Can you use those same mitigation techniques and criteria?  If so, handle this quickly and effectively.  Be careful you don’t miss something though if its a similar but not identical issue – it can be easy to think it’s the same issue but minor changes can make huge differences.
  • Professional Experience.  As you come across details time and again they become second nature.  Some of these you won’t even need to think about as your professional experience will immediately react and take care of them.  Your brain will be able to cope with these details in the background leaving you to focus your remaining brain capacity on more important tasks.

If you want your project to succeed and need to mitigate the risk to an acceptable level then tackling the detail head on is the only way.  It takes time and effort but it’s worth it.

The devil is in the detail.  Yet I plan to keep soaring in human flight formations and avoid the devil for long time yet so I’m tackling the detail, head on, and making sure I do everything I can to make these projects happen.

Question: What techniques do you use to achieve the detail?

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