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Improve Your Engineering and Designs Immediately With A Simple 10-Step Warmup Routine

PermitZIP has grappled with various ways to solve scalability problems for the small-project MEP engineering market. Teaching a team to make sound engineering decisions multiple times per day for hundreds of different projects nationwide is no exception.

We developed this simple 10-Step warmup routine that we include in our training curriculum. Below is the language right out of our training manual for employees. We hope you find it useful - let us know in the comments below!

---------------------------- GadgetLearning(TM) Core Framework (c) 2023 ----------------------------

Gadget Design Warmup(TM)

Anyone can be a great designer, but committing to daily mental workouts requires discipline and commitment. Great designers intentionally exercise their minds to develop sharpness and strength. They use their mental sharpness and strength as leverage against complex problems. Great designers have no shortage of solutions and are quick to implement them.

  • A sharp mind can visualize solutions and communicate clearly.

  • A strong mind can orchestrate desirable outcomes from external parties, systems, inputs, and environments to interface neatly with the design.

The Gadget Design Warmup(TM) is only ten steps and easy to do. These steps will activate your mental focus before starting your design task; like the body, skipping a warmup before a workout can lead to injury!

The goal is to safely prepare your mind to activate fully for the technical work ahead. You will notice results immediately; over time, you will become one of your team's most vital, sharpest designers.

The Gadget Design Warmup(TM) is an easy, 10-step routine. Complete these steps in order before you begin any design task:


/ 1 / Who signed the contract?


/ 2 / What does the contract say We will do and will not do?


/ 3 / Who is the Authority Having Jurisdiction?


/ 4 / How was the space used before?


/ 5 / What is the new proposed use?


/ 6 / What codes, laws, and standards apply to your design for that use? (List at least five unique code references)


/ 7 / What is your vision for the final form of this task?


/ 8 / Whom do you need to call, and what do you need to ask them? Make a list.


/ 9 / Call (or ask a mentor to call while you listen) the people on that list and get the answers you need.


/ 10 / On a blank sheet, document your findings.


You are now ready for design! At this point, you should feel prepared for the heavy lifting. You've established the context and boundaries. You've communicated your needs to third parties and have the external information you need to complete the work you visualized during the warmup.

A lizard
Don't slip into lizard brain design! Refuse to copy and past from old projects. Always write a new specification.

Lizard Brain Alert! For Step 6 and Step 10, you may not copy from previous work (e.g., using template specifications or details or copying specifications of previous designs)!

Formatting Pro Tip! Keep the easy-to-understand (e.g., floor plans, details, pictures) information on the front pages and the hard-to-understand (e.g., specifications, schedules, calculations, charts) data on the back pages.

Help Your Future Self! Document everything such that if you opened it again six months from now, you'd thank yourself.

---------------------------- GadgetLearning(TM) Core Framework (c) 2023 ----------------------------

Bonus information! We also teach our team to do a cooldown before finalizing the work. This idea is still in development, but we still think at the root, it's a great way to close out your design tasks! Below is from our training program we call GadgetLearning(TM):

---------------------------- GadgetLearning(TM) Core Framework (c) 2023 ----------------------------

Gadget Design Cooldown(TM)

For interim work (non-final), what is your vision for the following deliverable? Make a list of required information that will prevent you from completing that next task. Write them on the last page of the document and include them in the outgoing email to the client. Send your deliverable!

---------------------------- GadgetLearning(TM) Core Framework (c) 2023 ----------------------------

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