Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time - Long Time - Slow Time

Time is relative. At times a distant relative that doesn't write or call.

I've had one of my older insights brought back into focus lately and this concerns how long it takes to get things done. My former rule of thumb was to take an estimate from someone else and multiply times three to give myself a more accurate estimate of when to expect the final result. My more recent experience with several projects and proposals has only confirmed this "times three" notion.

My former analysis of this was that people didn't consider all the factors they needed to before they made their estimates. They were either unaware of what was needed to be considered or they underestimated the level of effort required to get a step accomplished.

My current thinking is a little different. While some of what I thought is mostly still valid, I also understand that there are other factors that also need to be considered, and this relates back to my previous blog about matixed difficulties.

What seems to be a primary problem in completing tasks within stated time lines, are the conflicting demands upon the time and priorities of the person tasked to do the work.

My new focus is to ask how I can help others work through the conflicting priorities they face. In simple words - How can I move my request up the list of priorities they are managing? And if I can't help here, I need to ask myself - What do I need to do to manage the risk of my request running late?

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