Treating the unexpected as normal

In project plans have you noticed the constant state of change? But of course you have!

Made me wonder about that: the chip that is advertised at one speed and actually when tested runs either faster or slower: enough for a data sheet change. The product that has to be rapidly re-engineered due to a design issue: .and I am sure you can fill in the blank:

That is why it is necessary to have regular review points in the project plan. Unless these are done you may find yourself in a fire-fighting mode as the designer that has been quietly trying to fix the issue suddenly shares the information about the problem and neatly lops 8: 12 weeks of your already critical project timeline.

I learned the usefulness of project checklists from a couple of Japanese friends of mine as I worked with them for a period of 6 months at Hitachi. Yamaki-san would ask a question: if he got the right answer it was checked off. If he didn’t like the answer he put forward a question. If the question was answered to his satisfaction it was checked off: if not it was tabled for further discussion and negotiation. If the answer was “we’ll get back to you on that” the next question was “when” and he would duly note a reply required date on his checklist.

One thing about this approach: you will be able to formulate plans and corrective actions on the fly and minimize project delays. The unexpected can easily be incorporated into the plan providing a detailed enough checklist and time line are in place from the project outset.

Short blog today: I have as I said earlier in the week to go into hospital: on Tuesday actually, and so apologize for any lateness or missed blog deadlines: I have been trying to clear things up: : and since it will be by the time you read this Friday morning, I would put to you that the best plan for the rest of the day is to book it as PTO and take off for the beach: have a great labor day weekend!!

John Burke



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