Realistic Scheduling

Here’s another great post I came across: Why
your Schedule is No Good – And How to Fix It
. In it Christopher Hawkins talks
about some of the more basic items that tend to get ignored when people devise a schedule;
which end up resulting in slippage on a project. These are simple things, like not
factoring in people’s holidays or sick days; but they all add up. However, the fundamental
thread in his comment is all about setting stakeholder expectations to an achievable
schedule; rather than trying to keep them happy then upsetting them in the long run.
Here’s my favourite section:

The problem is in the way most people schedule projects.  They give
dates that haven’t been thought out very well in order to avoid upsetting the client,
but the client ends up upset anyway because the project goes off track.  I prefer
to make my clients upset at the START of the project, that way I know exactly how
much time I have to win them back over – the length of the project (that was a joke). 
Also, upset clients tend to think of really creative reasons to not make their delivery
payment, and that’s bad for cash flow.  We’re supposed to solve
, not create more of them for ourselves and our clients.

Read the whole thing: Christopher
Hawkins – Effective Software Development

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