Friday, July 7, 2017

Protect the most valuable milestone

Want a happy client? (Who doesn't?)
  • Don't be late!

Which means: establish -- mutually -- the most valuable milestone (as seen by the client) and then ... protect it! How? with a buffer.

The buffer is unscheduled time used to capture the unforeseen overflow of work from the backlog, or to work off essential debt collected along the way. The buffer placed as shown should remove most of the uncertainty from the time-delivery of the milestone content -- backlog worked down to "done".

Here's the most egregious violation of the simple buffered-milestone idea:

There's a buffer, as required by the project planning policy...  but it's in the wrong place.
  • It sets up a "latest start" (planned procrastination)
  • It provides no value to the ensuing backlog. 
  • The most valuable milestone is unprotected. 
  • You can pretty much bet that milestone is at risk.
 Squandering the buffer time with procrastination is the worst planning and execution error in risk management. Only an uninformed or unenlightened manager would do that

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