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Friday, June 18, 2010

Where to Put the Efforts.

It was a weekend afternoon and all seniors members of the apex management had gathered to listen the status of most ambitious project the conference room Project leader Samik informed the gathering that using a phrase from the popular film “ Aal is Well” team is delivering the result and moving in the right direction.

But President Mr Dutta was not comfortable. He interrupted, “Tell me much will it over stretch from schedule.”

Smile from Samik’s face was gone. In a defending tone he said, ”Not much may be two more months and we will be through.”

“This is enough last review meeting you demanded extra man power which immediately management agreed to meet the deadline. With five additional engineers the delay has slipped further from 45 days to two months. Were all sleeping this whole fortnight?” Datta asked screamingly.

These are common scenario happening at most of the projects. The first mistake project management does is that in the beginning not enough thrust is given assuming that there is enough time. Follow the Parkinson’s law which states that “Work expands to fill the time available.”

The team remains busy irrespective of the work load and the time available. If the work is sufficient for a day and the team is given three days then first two days are simply wasted in non productive analysis or experimentation.

When the project looks getting delayed team leader starts complaining either the shortage of man power or the skills. But putting extra man power near completion of the project follows Brook’s Law –“ Putting more people on late job makes it later.”

The new team member would eat up the productive time of others to understand the situation. More time in getting aligned with the team. As far as possible avoid adding unknown hand A person who has been part of review team may help in such a situation if inducted with the main stream to increase the strength since it won’t eat up other’s valuable efforts.

The best strategy is to break the project into smaller fragments and insist to complete each portion in time from the beginning. This overcomes many problems. Boehm’s finding is that larger projects tended to be less productive than the smaller ones because they needed more efforts for management and co-ordination. This strategy is best to cut the cost of efforts since they deliver the maximum output.

To understand this try to follow why India and Pakistan have lost their glory in field hockey? The players of these countries are masters of dribbling. They try to retain the ball with them for the maximum length of the field. The opponents get more chance to interrupt and take away the ball. The teams from Europe and Australia pass the ball quickly to other team mates giving less time to think to the opponents

The same rule applies for the successful execution of the larger projects. Complete your portion of the task at earliest and pass to the next level. You take up your new position. This refreshes the team also and delivers the results. Put some extra efforts to plan the efforts of the team and guide them to complete the assignment effortlessly.