I recently embarked on the difficult task of planning and organizing a bachelor party for my best friends’ wedding. I can tell you from first-hand experience that proper planning, organizing and collaborative skills are critical for bachelor party success. Trying to appease and organize twelve very different gentlemen located across the entire continent is a daunting task! The group represented British Columbia, the state of Georgia, most of Ontario, and Nova Scotia. To make things easier, I chose the majestic Midwest metropolis of Chicago, Illinois as our destination.
In order to design the best experience possible, I used the techniques developed at HSI® to plan the greatest bachelor party of all time. A user needs analysis helped to determine what the group, and more importantly the groom, wanted to experience. After identifying a myriad of options and possibilities, I held a brief focus group to gather more data. From these results I designed a questionnaire-based online survey to get anonymous opinions on the event choices – I know you are all thinking this is overkill, but I’m telling you it works! From these results, I had a clearer idea of what the client, I mean my best friend, wanted. However, even after all of this, there was still a divide as to what to do. I expected this to happen since I knew it would be an iterative process. More focused surveys and evaluations took place and I eventually prepared the best-choice options to the group. Lo and behold, this process allowed for all twelve of them to agree on where to stay, what to see, and when to go. Most importantly, it made them all feel that their opinions and ideas were listened to and properly considered. Success!
Over that entire four-day weekend we trekked all over downtown Chicago and explored the amazing architecture the city has to offer. On the famous architecture boat tour, we learned more of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and how it destroyed over nine square kilometers of the wooden buildings that made up the city. Wooden buildings were chosen at that time due to their ease and speed of construction during Chicago’s prosperous growth. In the aftermath, the city commissioned architects, designers, landscape artists, financial planners and engineers to collaborate right from the start to build a better Chicago. That teamwork, organization and proper planning has created the varied structures, triple-leveled roads and bridges, and the beautiful water and riverfronts that we see today.
These examples speak to the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, organization and proper planning. From parties to city design, and everything in between, these skills are critical to the development, execution and success of any project.