Friday, June 8, 2012

Project Lesson: The Restoration Triangle

Over the past few weeks we have had time to think about our project, the experiences we have had with some of the companies we have worked with, and how these things relate to general project planning both for the Dino and in life in general. The more we thought about it, the more it became clear that all projects really rely on a balance of three factors: Quality, Cost, and Time. It is on this that I introduce ‘The Restoration Triangle’ a conceptual tool to stress the importance of achieving a good balance when managing a restoration project. Much of what we will cover is basic and logical but it bears repeating as we feel it essential to always strive for a balance in these factors that is in line with ones personal objectives. While this model is more outreaching, we will stick to illustrating our ideas in how they relate to a car restoration. Now on to the points:


Of course, in the absence of time and cost considerations, everyone wants the best quality possible. How many times have you heard someone say that ‘If I had all the money in the world I would want……’ That said before beginning a project it is a good idea to see varying levels of car restoration in different vehicles and deciding for yourself what level would YOU be comfortable with.


Normally the factor that controls things more than anything in a restoration is cost / available budget. Everyone would like perfect but not everyone can or is willing to pay the costs associated with that result. While it is generally true that you get what you pay for, it has been our experience that there is no direct correlation between the amount you receive for the expenditure incurred. For this reason it is critically important to find out what certain tasks cost from a number of sources before committing to a particular shop.


Last (but certainly not least) is the value of time as it plays a huge role. A car restoration is a very time intensive process so starting one when your wife is expecting triplets and on the cusp of a new promotion at work is probably not the best of ideas. Furthermore if you are subbing work out, those people should be respectful of ones personal time. Having your car apart for over a year to get the work done that an organized shop would do in a few weeks should come at an otherwise unavailable quality level or extremely low cost to make any sense at all.

 When you put the three together it becomes quickly clear that a balanced project should strive to meet ones personal beliefs as to what are acceptable time, cost, and quality levels. You need to be brutally honest with yourself as to where you want the project to go and if you see any one or more of the three factors going outside of what is personally reasonable then it should act as an alarm bell to correct the problem.

Sure it all sounds easy enough but you would be amazed how easy it can be to stray. Well enough with the lesson, I promise that the next post will have photos of Dino parts!

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