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Ricardo (4s): Hello, everyone. Welcome to the five minutes podcast today. I´d like to talk to you about how do we manage Coupled relationships. First, let me explain what is that? Most of the time we talk these like loops like a circle of reference imagined in a normal project environment, you usually do one thing than you do another thing. Then you do a third thing. So there is a sequence where you do, even if you are working in the Most agile and fast-tracking pace, you always need to have a sequence. You can only test a software feature if you develop it. Right? So this is what is important here.
Ricardo (45s): When we talk about Coupled relations, we are talking about ways of doing two things that are maybe physically connected or maybe strategically connected. And I want to do them together. Even knowing that one information may be needed by the other side, I want to give you two simple examples. First one, you work in the automotive industry and you are building a new car. Two teams are working. One team is developing the engine and another team is developing the chassis of the car, the structure of the car. Do you agree with me that for you to make the structure off the car, you need to have this space to fit the engine and, and on the other side, if you are working on the engine of the car, you need to know, okay, what structure is this?
Ricardo (1m 38s): An engine responsible, to move. So one depends on the order. This is a typical coupled relation. How do you manage that? Because you cannot develop the chassis to see if you have a good engine or not to fit that chassis or the opposite, because you need to do the two in parallel. How do you do that? First? You create a set of assumptions. The engine team, we will have some assumptions on how the car we'll look like. What will be the weight of the car or the size of the car, the dimensions of the engine area. So this basic information at the same time, the people doing that structure of the card, they need to know.
Ricardo (2m 23s): Is there anything that is related to the engine? Is there any type of positioning of the engine that I need to be aware, but this at that time is only assumptions. They are not facts because the two teams will take, I would say months to develop their prototypes and this, when they develop, what is critical, important is that they communicate to each other to validate that assumption. What is the good thing about that? The good thing is that you anticipate things because imagine if you are developing everything and you were using just linear processing, it will take years for you to develop anything because you need to have, okay.
Ricardo (3m 7s): I can only start the engine. When I have full information on the structure, of the car, this will mean that it will be, or like years and years and years for you to develop a car. So you need to work with some basic assumptions, but the bad side is that let's suppose that you move and you realize is that the engine will need something that does that not fit on the structure of the car or the structure of the car. Will need an engine that there is no technology for that. Then you need to rework every time you work with a coupled relationship, do you see the positive side of making more things in parallel and speeding up your process.
Ricardo (3m 50s): But at the same time, you start increasing the risks because you are working with assumptions. That must be confirmed. So you can move forward. A second example lets suppose that you are building your new house, you have the plot, you have the land, you started the design of the house, Number of bedrooms, leave-in room kitchen, social area. So you just finalize the design. Then basically you should get the permit to build because we don't know if it in that neighborhood, you can build two floors or what's the size. What is the type. Maybe during the design, you have some ideas of that, but you don't have the full picture until it's approved.
Ricardo (4m 35s): Then you submit this to the authorities to approve what is the normal process you submit you wait until they approve. Then you look for a contractor to build, but maybe the approval will take too long. So what do you can do? You can start the procurement process. So you do two things in parallel. You registered your design to get the approval to build. And at the same time, you start exploring possibilities of construction workers that could build your house. Then you can have coats. You can negotiate. If the authorities request for you to change the design, there is a good chance that you will lose that work on procurement, that you need to revalidate all the bids that prices may change and this, but if they approve, you can go straight to the construction.
Ricardo (5m 25s): As soon as you have the permit, However, let's suppose you decide to hire the contractor before the permit and the contractor starts working. Then the permit does not come. For example, if the contractor starts buying things and buying materials, maybe you will be in trouble. Because maybe the new design to adapt to the new requests from the authorities will not need that material or will need a different material than you may have a loss. So this is a very good process that a coupled activities when you were running a low level of risk, when going back does not implicate in a massive loss of money or a massive loss of time.
Ricardo (6m 14s): Let me give you a crazy example here, but let's suppose you're building a building. Okay. A large building. You don't know how many floors, but you start the foundation's and then you prepare the foundation's and then the engineering team tells you, Oh God, we decided to put ten more floors. Let's suppose this feasible, then it's not a smart move. Right. Because just to fix the foundations maybe. Right. It's even impossible to go back and you just need to tear everything down and do it again. so these are why couple relationships are so important and why I'm telling you this. Because when we see, for example with this, I speed transformation is a giant.
Ricardo (6m 55s): Everybody was so paranoid, about getting things fast that they many times do not think enough. And then when they face something like that, they always say, we don't have time to plan, but we always have money to do it again. And this is not smart. Sometimes it's better that you really understand what you are doing in parallel to avoid problems and reward because reward becomes a real nightmare and these couple relationships are, but becoming a big trend today. Most of the projects that I see Today they have hundreds of things happening in parallel. Even knowing that one depends on the other.
Ricardo (7m 36s): So you don't know exactly the end results until you get to the end, but you are assuming that the end will be that way. Sometimes with the volatility looks like Coronavirus today. This becomes a real challenge for all of us. Think always about that. When you're managing this kind of complex relationship look, folks, I hope you enjoy this podcast. And see you next week with another five minutes. Podcast.