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Hatching a Catastrophe

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Presentation on theme: "Hatching a Catastrophe"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hatching a Catastrophe
By Franklyn Omoruan

2 Milestones or Millstones?
"How does a project get to be a year late? One day at a time.” Day-by-day schedule slippage is harder to recognize, harder to prevent, and harder to make up than calamities. The first step in controlling a big project on a tight schedule is to have a schedule, made up of milestones and dates for them. Milestones must be concrete, specific, measurable events defined with knife-edge sharpness (very sharp), clearly defined and easily identifiable Picking the dates is an estimating problem, it crucially dependent on experience.

3 Milestones or Millstones?
Estimates made and revised two weeks early do not change as the start time draws near, no matter how wrong they end up being. Overestimates come steadily down as the activity proceeds Underestimates do not change until scheduled time draws near

4 "The Other Piece Is Late, Anyway"
A schedule slips a day; so what? Who gets excited about a one-day slip? We can make it up later. And the other piece into which ours fits is late, anyway. Hustle provides the cushion, the reserve capacity, that enables a team to cope with routine mishaps, to anticipate and ward off minor calamities. Hustle is essential for great programming teams As we have seen, one must get excited about a one-day slip. Such are the elements of catastrophe Chronic schedule slippage is a morale-killer. [Jim McCarthy of Microsoft says, "If you miss one deadline, make sure you make the next one."

5 “Under the Rug” When a first-line manager sees his small team slipping behind, he is rarely inclined to run to the boss with this woe. The team might be able to make it up, or he should be able to invent or reorganize to solve the problem. Then why worry the boss with it? Solving such problems is exactly what the first-line manager is there for. And the boss does have enough real worries demanding his action that he doesn't seek others. So all the dirt gets swept under the rug. But every boss needs two kinds of information, exceptions to plan that require action and a status picture. For that purpose he needs to know the status of all his teams. Getting a true picture of that status is hard.

6 Reducing the role conflict
Boss must distinguish between action and status information. He should not act on problems his manager can solve and never act on problems when he is explicitly reviewing status Help the boss label meetings as status-review versus problem meetings

7 Yanking the rug off Critical Path Analysis (CPA) and PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) are powerful tools that help you to schedule and manage complex projects. They were developed in the 1950s to control large defense projects, and have been used routinely since then. PERT charts are very important in keeping track of the critical tasks in the whole project. By identifying the critical path in a PERT chart we know which tasks cannot afford even one day of delay in their completion.

8 Pros and cons of C.P.A Critical Path Analysis helps you to plan all tasks that must be completed as part of a project. They act as the basis both for preparation of a schedule, and of resource planning The benefit of using CPA over Gantt Charts is that it formally identifies tasks which must be completed on time for the whole project to be completed on time, and also identifies which tasks can be delayed for a while if resource needs to be reallocated to catch up on missed tasks. The disadvantage of CPA is that the relation of tasks to time is not as immediately obvious as with Gantt Charts. This can make them more difficult to understand for someone who is not familiar with the technique.

9 Conclusion First, have a schedule! Second, have milestones
Third, track the critical path - who is waiting on who to finish what Fourth, address the “status disclosure problem”

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