2 or 3 steps forward and 1 step back - Better than no steps at all?

Back in the 1950s, in the UK, construction of nuclear power stations commenced, on a scale never before attempted. All engineering and design had to be done by hand with pencils on drawing boards, calculations were done with slide rules, planners drew bar charts on graph paper and communications were by a poor phone system, or telex. Letters and reports had to be typed on mechanical typewriters by secretaries. There were no computers. If a problem with a drawing arose at site, the resolution of that problem could take weeks or months, and whilst awaiting the result, work stopped. Consequently, amongst other reasons, the first power station, in Somerset, planned to take 3 years, took twice that long to build. For the second attempt, at a site in Suffolk, management decided that if a problem was encountered, needing resolution by engineering dept at home office, every effort would be made to continue construction, even if some work had to be re-done at a later stage. In other words, better to take a couple of steps forward and ultimately one back, than no steps at all. As it happened, in 9 cases out of 10, engineering solutions were found that did not require re-work. The power station was completed more or less on schedule and even in our age of electronic everything, the same approach to progress is still valid.

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