Our chief engineer, Bob Stadtherr, always likes to remind us that every project has two phases: the first 90% and the second 90%. It always brings a smile.
But he has a point, one you can probably relate to in your own life. You get through the first 90% of your task and then all that's left is the last 10% - the finishing touches - but those tend to take as long as the first task and are routinely underestimated; certainly by me.
It never ceases to amaze me how easy the second 90% is to under estimate when we are mapping out a new product launch - and just how important that phase of any project is.
The second 90% is where all the user interface is created once the hardware and software are finished. This is the part customers get to interface with and judge the final product on. It has equal importance to the first 90% of the work.
The problem for me has always been the difficulty in mapping out this second half of the work. The first half is pretty straightforward.
When it comes to learning new skills, the ability to accurately map and schedule the second 90% has to be right on top of any designer's list.
Certainly is on mine.