Incremental Project Development

As every good engineer knows, to get through a complex project you have to break it up into small manageable chunks, preferably using an Agile technique like Scrum to manage the incremental releases. This post is about using the same techniques in a backyard project. Not your average project, this one was complex enough to require over 240 incremental steps. As in all journeys, you can take a somewhat overwhelming effort and by breaking into small manageable steps, it then becomes somewhat easier to complete each step and see the progress towards the final goal. Just one more step. Working on it one step at a time. Kinda like hiking the Grand Canyon. But, instead of one more step, it is one more switchback. The agony it was…. But, I’ll save that for a future post.

Let’s look at the survey of the materials.

Yes, we are talking some major complexities here. Where to begin? Step 1, make sure the materials list has everything they say they sent. But keep it organized. This set had a very detailed web tutorial of the steps which was an immense help. Sometimes that picture in the handbook is not easy to place in a 3D view. With the web tutorial, it allowed a 360 view of each part and how it was assembled in the final product. That’s technology to a new level.

In the first weekend we completed 80 steps out of 240 towards the final product.

It may not look like much, but it was great to have the framework complete. And with the stairs and the climbing wall complete, it could be tested all on it’s own. First weekend complete, but not where near a final project completion. Let’s put a bow on it and call it release 1 (150 steps).

Second weekend, perform a site survey and place it in the yard. Add some accessories and 2nd story buildout. Steps complete 159.

Last weekend… add the slides and swings. Steps completed 242.

The seller of the set was charging $500 for the assembly. Although I can certainly see why, it was great fun over three weekends with my son Tim and grandson Liam. And now it’s time for the beta test. I know Liam is interested to help in that capacity. Anyone else want to help out?