Re: Time management issues

Subject: Re: Time management issues
From: john -at- garisons -dot- com
To: "Holly Steele" <hsteele1 -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 16:29:19 -0400 (EDT)

A few pointers learned by bitter experience:

Be very careful when connecting time estimates to dates. Something may
take four weeks, but that doesn't mean it can be done four weeks from now.

When estimating anything that's based on someone else doing something,
state your estimates in the form: "This step will be completed three weeks
after getting an approved Document X from Product Management." This makes
the dependency on the other person unmistakable.

Managing time is very different from planning and scheduling. If you have
a four week task, break down each week by what needs to be done that week,
and by whom (scheduling). Blocking off actual work hours to do the job,
and ignoring phone calls and emails is time management.

Remember the old saying: "Lack of planning on your part does not justify
an emergency on my part." Not that you could ever say it to someone who
needed it said to them, but that's another story.

The mythical female man month: You cannot have a baby in one month even if
you put nine pregnant women on the task.

Failsafe method of estimating time: Take your most pessimistic estimate,
double the number and go to the next highest unit of measurement. For
example, 4 days = 8 weeks; 4 weeks = 8 fortnights (two-weeks); 3 months =
6 quarters. You'll be surprised just how accurate this turns out to be
under real world conditions.

My 2¢,

John Garison

> I would like some suggestions on how to manage time for a large project.
> For example, I estimated that a project would take about a month, however,
> because of release deadlines, I only have about 2 weeks. I spent a lot of
> time figuring out the tool issues and so got behind.


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Time management issues: From: Holly Steele

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