As a Continuous Improvement expert, I’m a control freak big fan of data. I wholeheartedly believe that you can’t create lasting improvements without 1 – benchmarking and 2 -understanding the context in which the data was derived. But despite the fact that you can quantify nearly every aspect of a process in its current state, when making projections about the future state, stakeholders must understand that even highly detailed projections can’t guarantee success.
They may show that it’s very likely, and hopefully you’ve partnered with or hired people whose capability you trust or has otherwise proven successful. Even so – there will still be room for variability. I’m of course talking about human error or interpretation, but also machine failure, natural forces, political maneuvers, governmental policy, a change in the economic environment, etc..
Depending on your industry, some issues are more likely to affect your business versus others –but the point is that projections are just that until you pull the trigger.
All the time, money, expertise and data can’t compare to actual experience. And there will come a point when in order to grow, improve, or otherwise pursue your goal, you’re going to have to just take the plunge and see how it goes.
Startup company Hyperloop One Inc, is doing just that in pursuit of Elon Musk’s vision of transporting people in tubes at 760 miles an hour. Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd told Gizmodo, “We’ve tested levitation technologies, we’ve tested the aerodynamics in those low-pressure environments, we’ve tested the tube … So we’ve done testing of all the systems but only can demonstrate this if we build it at full-scale.”