Home » Schedule » Compressed Project Management Schedules Discourage Innovation and Improvement

Compressed Project Management Schedules Discourage InnovationThere is a good article by Alexander Weber Morales on project management tools and techniques for managing improvements to an organization in Software Development Times, Sep 1, 2010 “It’s time to change … but how?”  In particular, he comments that “studies have found that creative solutions to problems actually decrease under external pressure such as deadlines ….”

This is similar to what I’ve observed with teams moving from compressed schedules to realistic schedules (for more on this see In Project Management 9+3 Is Not Equal to 12).  While the realistic schedule is still a challenge, more productivity improvements happen with realistic schedules as people have the time to innovate and improve how they do their work. This is in contrast to the compressed schedule where there is insufficient time to just get the core tasks done which in turn discourages taking the time to try new things that could improve productivity.

Just getting the schedule right (the overall duration of the project, not necessarily the individual milestones) can make a huge difference in all aspects of project success.

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3 thoughts on “Compressed Project Management Schedules Discourage Innovation and Improvement

  1. Obviously, this is due to the bottom line. Get it done in the least amount of time, hence cost, as possible. This does not include time for your learning curve. That is the mindset behind this.

    However, many would be surprised at how little time it takes to research and learn new ways to improve the way you work, especially with the Internet. That time spent quite often leads to significant time saved on the project, when you find a more efficient way to do something. But you must be WILLING to pursue this.

    Now in some cases, you may have to do this on your OWN time, but that proves to be a win/win for everyone.

    1. Brett,

      Yes, I think the compressed environment makes it hard to take the chance to make changes. I suspect folks also don’t want to do anything that is not “the job” because, since things are going bad anyway, they don’t want to provide anyone with evidence that they worked on anything other than the required work.

      I’ve spent a huge amount of my own time developing new methods/approaches that ultimately made my work much easier. Not everyone is willing to do this – especially if they have not yet successfully done it in the past.

      Good comment.

      Bruce

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