Ah… the infamous last words.

How many times have you dealt with a client, it can be in the design industry or any industry for that matter, that want to hop on the fast track to crank out a project?

We’ve all been there.

Ever notice though that more often than not, those turn and burn projects often take longer than a project that goes at an average pace or even better — never get completed? Brings me right back to my childhood when I’d watch Bugs Bunny and Cecil the Turtle duke it out mano a mano in that marathon. The turtle always seemed to finish first.

We actually have projects on the books that were supposed to be 4-6 week projects, one that stretched to the 9 month mark and the other we’re on year 2. Makes absolutely no sense. Remember, these projects were supposed to be completed in half the normal time.

Why is that?

Why would someone pay a premium to cut in line ahead of other clients just to go MIA weeks later? Is it disorganization, is it juggling too much on their end, is it a priority shift, is it laziness, is it unpreparedness, maybe a commitment issue — it’s always a mystery to me.

It takes two to tango.

There’s only so much a design agency can do. We can only go so far and at some point we’ll need approvals, we’ll need content or we’ll need directive. If we can’t get what we need when we need it, it completely undermines the entire reason for the rapid project engagement.

Listen I get it.

Everyone gets busy. But you aren’t allowed to get busy if you need something designed yesterday. Your entire existence should be the one hot project you needed wrapped up in half the time. No more, no less. The rules of engagement state that you ARE part of the process.

The moral of this story.

Look, being “in” the game is every bit as important as starting the game. If your head’s not in it for the long or short hall, save your money and time and wait until you can dedicate all of you into a project that in the end will feel like a job well done instead of a job you finally got done. You’ll thank yourself and your design firm will too.