On July 22, 2015 I joined DLT Solutions with my company (CADD Microsystems) and Lynn Allen for an event specifically tailored to the challenges faced by government customers. During the event, I shared a presentation on InfraWorks that demonstrated ways it could be applied as a planning and preliminary design tool very early in the project cycle. During that presentation, I identified the phrase “Just Imagine” as the two most toxic words teams could use to describe their designs.

Why do I feel “just imagine” are the two most toxic words of design?

Put simply imagination is a thing with infinite possibilities, whereas your project will only be built one of those ways. Describing your project with the term “just imagine” is like playing stakeholder roulette; there’s a chance your imagination matches theirs, but odds are your imagined solution and theirs are two entirely different things.

My presentation at the DLT event focused on this very point, and how InfraWorks can be used as a tool to communicate designs to stakeholders in lieu of imagining designs with stakeholders. After the event, I had chatted with the team from DLT on what all of this means for public-sector design teams in the video interview above.