GrandView Business Solutions

Expand All /  Collapse All

Meet schedules even if you must reduce scope

"Time is becoming the new corporate metric", says management consultant Peter Drucker. In an ideal world, you'd completely finish every project on time. When forced to choose, the best bet is usually to get something demonstrably done by deadline.

Today, time is as important as cost and quality. Time to market is critical. Time to respond to a client request is critical. Time to incorporate change is critical. And time to install a finished system is critical.

In addition, work expands to fill the time available for completion. When under a tight schedule, which you should be, keep in mind that clients remember meeting schedule commitment, NOT reduced scope. That said, obviously the reduced scope must meet core functionality.

Communication matters here too. Involve the entire team in establishing and maintaining schedules. Keep your milestones to ones that matter. It is much better to have a few you meet than many milestones you don't! Remember the following:

  • Most meetings are unnecessary or mismanaged and result in wasted time

  • Effective meetings have an agenda, a time constraint and minutes to document resolutions and actions

  • Meeting productivity is inversely proportional to the square of the number participants

  • Scope creep is reduced by the time and money available to do the work

Rational people will make reasonable scope decisions to meet a critical timeframe. Given more time, team members like engineers will always over-design, test excessively and worry.