Customer Expectations--15th Anniversary Flashback

Here's a pretty timeless excerpt from a February 2010 article about managing customer expectations, and the value of repurposing elements of previous successful designs in new projects, rather than starting from scratch every time:
"Creative people will tend by nature to customize 100%, if not coached on the benefits of reusing a percentage of existing designs," believes Pat Phillips, Haumiller's engineering manager. Besides investment, standards programs also require a different type of employee mentality."This is not a black-and-white topic, but rather a general goal that needs to be agreed upon and reinforced and monitored," Phillips explains.
Sometimes, Phillips adds, the customer needs to be educated that with some specification concessions, complexity can be reduced and costs lowered. “A simple design change sometimes can transform a project from one that’s mostly from scratch to one in which many concepts from previous projects are reused. Careful collaboration between the customer and our team will help reveal these opportunities and see if they make sense in each specific instance.”