Everyone hates Monday-morning quarterbacks—those dolts who only speak up after the fact, when all the work is done. You've had to deal with your share of them—people in the design chain who criticize a final product late in the game, telling you why it won't work.
It's not that you want to run away from bad news. You just want it early, when you can do something about it.
With today's collaboration tools, you can finally silence the "gotchya" corps.
New collaboration products help you share your designs electronically at the concept stage, when there's still time to make changes.
Of course, collaboration isn't really anything new. I once worked at a company that designed and manufactured sophisticated filtration systems. The equipment included electronics, hydraulics, and plastics components, among others. Design engineers regularly did "gut checks" with colleagues in manufacturing, R&D, and purchasing. Those gut checks were collaboration in its simplest form, and they often took place in the cafeteria or in the hallways.
But, it's harder to have those informal brainstorming meetings today when your colleagues could be across town or oceans away. And even if it were possible, those impromptu meetings can leave out important players, like suppliers or even customers. That opens up opportunities for a lot of gotchyas.
Better to use the tools that exist from a variety of software vendors to share design ideas early. Doing so can turn up new ideas and cost-saving tricks without sacrificing the design schedule. And, it extends your influence throughout an organization, rather than limiting it. You get everyone talking on your terms.
There will always be those people who live to criticize and tell you all the mistakes you've made. Bring them into the process early, so you can use their ideas that make the most sense. Then you can utter the gotchya.