In our daily journeys as adults, we often need to place a dose of trust in other people for small, routine tasks. A public bus traveling through the city involves around 50 people who trust that little guy behind the wheel to safely take them to their destinations. Still, on the subject of trust, more tense feelings arise when we involve health professionals, needles, exams, and eyes, among other items. However, one thing that has always struck me is how much of our trust in a barber goes unnoticed. You’re lying there, usually with a towel covering your eyes, with your neck exposed to a guy who has a sharp blade in his hand and who, with the slightest mistake, could compromise one of the most vulnerable areas of our body. And another point, we pay him to do something that is supposedly possible at home, free of charge (I can’t get the same result, but hey, there’s someone…)

Back to you. What makes me choose one barber or another is their ability to do their job without turning my neck/face into a scene from a Tarantino movie. And believe me, that’s very difficult. In general, hiring a barber involves a few factors:

  • Planning: What can be done considering the shape of your face, type of beard, desired result, etc;
  • Initial briefing: How you want your beard, mustache, goatee, etc.;
  • Scope: You’re there to shave. You asked for it. You may even be able to get a haircut afterward, but the cost and timeframe won’t be the same;
  • Deadline: The guy isn’t going to shave you in a hurry, thinking about something else and without the slightest care because he has to finish in 5 minutes;
  • Client’s collaboration: It would be nice if the client doesn’t struggle during the process;
  • Equipment: A new blade, hot towels, reclining chair, etc;
  • Price: This is usually already written on a visible sign.

In a situation where all this has been respected, the likelihood of the service being done well is almost 100%.

Okay, Rodrigo, but what does all this have to do with my life?

Perhaps having a blade a few millimeters from your neck influences the collaboration of our friend, the barber, at every stage of his work. But why doesn’t this happen in projects involving design, technology, development, or (insert your industry here)?

Putting all this into the reality of an agency or design and technology professionals, it’s difficult to achieve a successful project if each stage is not respected. Well-done planning will generate a decent briefing, which will lead to the project’s scope, which is the item that the team tries hard to defend and which few manage to leave intact during the process. At this point, we also have a definition of the deadline designed to get everything done. But that deadline is always yesterday, right? (1-0 to the barber). Once the project is underway, a new need will arise (bye-bye scope), or something will come up that the client hadn’t asked for before (I miss you, scope) but that he wants to be done and at the exact cost as the initial budget, regardless of whether it will generate another 10, 20 or 30 hours of work.

I wonder if this type of client understands that, depending on the project, what’s at stake is as important as their neck and that the choice of professional who develops each stage and the workflow makes a difference.

At this point, I think that, while we haven’t come up with a solution, perhaps using a sharp object as a tool would help.