"The known, the known unknown and the unknown unknowns."
While this paraphrased quote and analytical concept has been credited to former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, it is in fact an analytical process that has been used by NASA for generations in planning and executing extremely complex missions in space.
While the phrasing of this quote is perplexing, it basically is referencing an entity’s or individual’s experience level.
When hiring an expert in a particular field, they should know all the “knowns” – those items that we would consider general knowledge - and, the “known unknowns” - the potential issues, problems, obstacles, etc. that may impede completing the project as envisioned. The “unknown, unknowns” are those issues that have not been planned for and will require focus and clarity to resolve.
It stands to reason the more experienced an individual or organization the fewer “unknown, unknowns” they will encounter – thus, the better prepared they will be, able to focus more attention toward resolving any “unknown, unknown” causing an issue with the project.
Sim Isaac Construction uses this analytical method of the “known, known unknowns and unknown unknowns” to assess, plan and implement all construction projects. With over thirty-five years of design and construction experience, we certainly have faced numerous “unknown unknowns” and gained valuable experience.