A third option to when your frustrated waiting for a permit

Chris Crosby has a post on the frustration of waiting, fighting City Hall to get permits to build a data center.

Since 1 in 10 Irish jobs are provided by multi-national companies, and Apple certainly qualifies since you can pick up an iPhone in Astana, Kazakhstan, as easily as you can in Dublin, no one anticipated any problems as the planning and permitting processes commenced. Unfortunately, it was at this point that things began to go “off the rails,” as they say. As all involved soon found out, even a corporate behemoth is no match for a not so friendly planning appeals process. Apparently, two individuals stood fearless and undaunted in the face of what they felt was a corporate incursion that would change the nature of the town forever, and, using continual appeals as metaphoric speed bumps, thereby caused the entire process to drag on for three years.

Patience may be a virtue, but it also has its limits. It took Apple 1095 days to reach its limit before formally announcing the decision to end the project despite a personal visit from Ireland’s Prime Minister.

The Irish Times covers the specific that Chris mentions of effort by the Ireland Government to improve the process.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys expressed disappointment at the decision. She said the delays the project has faced have “if nothing else, underlined our need to make the State’s planning and legal processes more efficient”.
“The Government has therefore already been working, over the last number of months, to make improvements to those processes. This will ensure we are better placed to take advantage of future such investment opportunities, whether from data centre providers or other sectors,” the Minister added.
— https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/apple-scraps-plan-for-850-million-data-centre-in-athenry-1.3490316

The problem with trying to improve the existing process is people spent a lot of effort to make the process the way it is, and it is assuming the process is right and it just needs to be made faster. As many of you know the process has many flaws which cause the delays as departments requirements conflict with each other.

An example of a conflict that illustrates what happens when you let a department make its own optimal decision is from the Polaris missile program development.

In each subsystem difficult technical problems had to be solved by narrowly focused specialist, and there was always the danger that the solution they would choose would be detrimental to the larger system. For example, there were a number of methods for launching a ballistic missile from a submarine, but each was a bit different in regard to crew safety and submarine detectability. Permitting the launch mode decision to be made solely in terms of launch efficiency could, of course, jeopardize the value of the entire system.
— "The Polaris System Development, Bureaucratic and Programmatic Success in Government" - Harvey M. Sapolsky

The third option is to introduce to system thinking. You may want the permit faster, but if the requirements are still in conflict, you lose in your build. What we need is a better way to build for the overall good of the City and User.