You can have it good,
or you can have it fast.
In the cost/schedule/performance management triangle, schedule is often seen as a constraint on performance. At least, that’s how craft workers tend to see it – folks who live to do the work and do it well. “If only I had more time, I could do a better job,” they mutter/grumble.
But Seth, as usual, offers a different perspective on deadlines.
It won’t ship when it’s perfect.
It will ship because we said it would.
Once this is clear, the quality of what we ship goes way up.
Instead of spending time and energy looking for reasons, excuses or deniability, we simply do the work.
In Proposal Land the client sets the submission deadline, and it is truly a wonder what gets done. But the proposal team can set sub-deadlines to focus its energy on sub-tasks rather than “looking for reasons, excuses, or deniability.” Document reviews are the most obvious such sub-deadline (aka green/pink/red team) but there are others we can set:
- Executive review/approval of the proposed solution and risks
- Design (and approvals if necessary) for the cover, format/layout, colour palette, and graphics elements
- Preliminary price-point check (How much is this all going to cost, anyway?)
- Style guide creation
- Photo selection
I’m used to thinking of deadlines as a way to get the work done: necessary to meet schedule, of course, but fundamentally not conducive to the quality I aim for. Seth has helped me see deadlines, whether client- or self-imposed, as a way to cut through all the hoo-ha. A way to actually get the work done better.
The first important thing about a deadline is that it forces you (me) to think. Not coast.
Jim T – Yes. Think and not fuss about trivialities.