Twelve tips for realistic scheduling
It's common to hear teams complain that "we don't have enough time." We often feel overwhelmed and helpless against an aggressive schedule, and when we work "against" something like time or schedules, there is much struggle and a large chance of failure. When we stop fighting against time1 and work within our schedules and abilities, we increase our success rate.
For instance, the schedules themselves may not be aggressive; it's just that we've chosen to put too much into that allocated time. Intelligently deciding what to put into the schedule and how to work within those boundaries is within our control.
The following techniques will help restore that control. They illustrate what to prioritize, and how to clarify your vision by comparing the relative worth and value of each activity.
- Don't allow "being busy" to derail your commitments.
- Document a detail task list.
- Identify critical paths and bottlenecks early.
- Work on what will be of value to the customer.
- Institute customer-sponsored releases.
- Master effective and rapid decision making.
- Rigorously institute reasonable forcing functions.
- Execute effective meeting management.
- Accept progressive refinement.
- Reduce inventory wherever possible.
- Don't be the source of the chaos.
- Beware of heroics culture.
Note: I conclude some of my tips with boxed information I call an "additional tip." These boxes contain some related techniques to be used at your discretion. Depending upon the organizational makeup, some of these further suggestions may not always be appreciated.
Decision Making Tips
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