Just Three Vertices

Just Three Vertices

Almost every project comes in a little bit late
and a little bit over budget.

Oh, that wacky Seth. What a cute idea: a project coming in “a little bit” late.

In Proposal Land, of course — well, in public-sector procurement and strict (i.e. large) private-sector procurement — there is no such thing as “a little bit” late. Late is late. Late is catastrophic. Late could be the end of your career. The end of all your hopes and dreams.

Well, let’s not get carried away. It’s just work.

But late is late. And it doesn’t fly.

But something’s gotta give. If not schedule, then what?

Cost? Sure, theoretically, although I’ve never (ever) seen a company add resources after, say, the Red Team review. Reassign? Absolutely. Add? Never. (And it’s not even clear that adding out-of-the-loop resources in the end stages would actually make things go faster. Adding more people at the outset? Sure. It’s still rarely done.)

But in addition to cost and schedule the project-management triangle has another vertex: performance. And that’s what’s gotta give.

It’s going to cost more than we thought,
it won’t have all the bells and whistles we can see are possible,
but it will, by golly, be on time.

That’s what the powers-that-be — and you, and I — have to come to terms with. Or a challenging work environment becomes an abusive one as *they* push the team to do more with the same amount of time — or we push ourselves.