Let’s say that prevent and solve a global pandemic is a project.
We admit that, as in any project/task, there are good, bad, uncertainties, etc.
Below you will find some reflections on the deliverables and the value of a buffer.
1. The importance of the definition of the deliverables.
What does it mean when it’s done? What do we have when the project/task is closed?
These are the two questions I ask most often at the start of our clients’ support.
Indeed, we regularly observe the following facts :
- The scope of the project defined along the way
- We start tasks without having all the data
- We don’t know who is doing what
When faced with these problems, we hear too often the following response: “Because we are agile, we do not need to clarify this. We will do it over time.”
No, No, and… No!
With the use of overtime, you will compensate, suffer the time’s compression taken upstream, but things still won’t be clear and done.
A concrete example: The communication of private pharmaceutical companies and the states focused on one deliverable: Have a vaccine!
We talked about certification dates, validation dates for countries, vaccine availability dates, etc.
What if the deliverable was different?
What does it mean when it’s done? And what do you have when the project/task is closed?
For your projects, the answer must always start with “Concretely, we have …”.
- In our case: Concretely, we have a sufficiently vaccinated population to guarantee general immunity.
We don’t need to be a scientist, I do not know how to clarify what this means sufficiently, but there is no doubt that a few people should know this information.
There is a clear difference between having a vaccine and having a population sufficiently vaccinated to ensure general immunity.
Thus, these two questions must become a priority in your projects if you want to guarantee a good alignment in your teams.
2. The buffer
When we do our training about FLOW Project Management, we explain that people tend to take the margin on each of their tasks to the detriment of the overall project.
Therefore, we suggest cutting the tasks’ duration and concatenating it to position it at the end of the project and protect the global project.
Usually, our clients ask us that their management or customers will remove the buffer, which will increase the pressure on the teams.
Our answer often lies in saying that as soon as we explain it and that this buffer serves the general interest of the project, everyone will accept it.
The government hit their targets a week before the deadline when you look at the vaccination process.
You have an example of a buffer where no one was upset that there was a margin in the end.
Indeed, the latter protected a collective interest.