Friday, October 24, 2008

Front-End Loading (FEL)

Not everyone may have heard of the term Front-End Loading (FEL), and certainly my using it identifies me as an engineering-type - which in some ways I am.

Anyway. FEL's definition refers to the investment made in preparation, planning and organization at the early stages of a project, with the expectation that it will help the project to be more effective, cost-efficient and successful in the longer-term.

What I find particularly interesting is the relationship between speed, or pace, and FEL is that most people get impatient easily and want to by-pass the early stages of a project so that they can "accelerate results." In other words, there is a tendency to give-up on FEL.

Yet the use of FEL often pays dividends. It can lay down the foundations for the success of a project and ensure that the requirements and expectations are clear at the outset. In fact I think FEL must be a very early discovery made by our ancestors. After all, it would have been easier to slide a flat rock along the ground than to chisel it into a wheel.

Somebody must have had the patience, confidence and tenacity to chip away at that rock before enjoying the deferred gratification of bringing the first wheel into existence.