A carelessly-planned project takes three times longer to complete, a carefully one takes only twice as long.
Common sense is not common practice. It's not even common knowledge. Most so-called common sense is so obvious that people think it 'goes without saying'. Unfortunately, nothing goes without saying.
Given a chance, most people will either under-plan or not plan at all.
Fail to plan and plan to fail.
Human beings are well-known prone to short-cutting the planning process and jumping right into activities that may make little or no contribution to the desired end goal.
Every hour of planning saves about a day of wasted time and effort.
One reason why teams are reluctant to plan sufficiently is because they know that things inevitably change.
Schedules shouldn't be found in the fiction section of a library.
Most projects are late even before they start.
The most significant causes of hideous performance against schedules are (1) human brains are just plain lousy at making estimates. (2) Bottom-up pays too little attention to handoffs and integration points. (3) Executives and project leaders engage in 'Thy Lying Game' (4) Teams wait until the schedule slips before intervening (5) Lessons learned aren't applied.
You can con a sucker into committing to an impossible deadline, but you can't con him into meeting it.
When you need a schedule that you can take to the bank, it's time to cut the B.S., pull out your scrappy scheduling skills, and unmask the naked and shivering truth.
Grow a backbone! Don't say it's not possible - That instantly blows your credibility with executives who must deliver critical business results. But do have an open and honest conversation about what it's going to take to make it happen.
Understandably driven by business needs to announce, launch, and ship products around certain market-driven dates, they often appear to be unreasonable, even irrational.
Simple planning process: STOP - THINK - Then, and only then, ACTION.
Fearless project leader insist on appropriate planning even when the majority clamors for mindless motion. Liking it is optional; doing it in mandatory. Sometimes, asking your team to hip deep in the planning process takes real guts.
Don't mistake a Gantt chart for a project plan.
Instead, I take the time to create an ARTISTIC interpretation of the actual detailed schedule in a flow chart form.
The planning documentation is the least of it. The hands-on involvement of key stakeholders in the planning is the most valuable part of the process. Don't settle for a hollow plan that looks neat and tidy. Insist on meaningful planning dialogues with the people who will be doing the work.
When someone tells me that they are doing their best, I worry! Projects can fail quite nicely when everyone is doing their best.
Sometimes doing your best is not enough. Sometimes you have to do what id required.
There's safety in chaos. It's easier to hide there.
Just enough planning to optimize results. Not a drop more! ... but not a drop less either.
A recipe doesn't make cookies, but it's a start.
Baking your own pie: (1) Identify key stakeholders and interests, team's responsiblities. (2) Prioritize stakeholders, user their voices to drive choices (3) Create a success scorecard captures CLEAR and VIVID matrix of success (4) Captures the absolute minimum requirements for considering project succesfully complete (5) Identify everthing standing in your way (6) Focus on things we have control (7) One-page charter of essence (8) Plans and schedules detailed enough to start, review and revise alone the way.
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