Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Checkpoint: It’s easier said than done

The first lesson you’ll learn about planning is things never work out as planned, or is it about we never quite plan it for success? I set an acceptable goal and timeline, but I still miss the target. Am I being too optimistic? Perhaps, that’s why in real life commercial project we always put in buffer, as things will always go wrong, and something unexpected shall always happened.

So lets say I have a job which I optimistically predict will take me 3 days to complete (programmer is always optimistic), where by my actual target should be 5 days instead, or a week. If I set my target to be 3 days, I probably would miss the target. If I set my target to be 5 days, I probably would miss that too. I think the same would happen for seven. I remember I once assigned a job to one of my staff, where I give him the deadline as 2 days before the actual deadline, because I foresee he would definitely miss the deadline (and we still have 2 days to make things work). At the end, we still miss the actual deadline.

Now I wonder it is human nature to miss a deadline, unless it’s a matter of life and death. I once work without a deadline, just setting a list tasks which need to be completed. That works pretty well, except that I couldn’t really judge if I had performed up to par, maximizing my time. I do feel good, just hoping I am not giving myself a false perception.

Should I continue to miss a deadline, or prolong the deadline and still miss it, or never set a deadline? I think a list of tasks to be accomplished is important, at least I know what should be done. But time is running against us as mortal, where we cannot take forever to accomplish something (especially in a competitive business world). So we need to know what need to be done, and do it within a reasonable time frame. I guess I would need to make the extra effort to ensure the deadlines are not missed again :) if I want to stay competitive. Prolonging the deadline is definitely not a wise option.

Again, it’s easier said than done. Maybe the next topic should be stop making excuses for yourself (or myself).

1 comment:

meiru said...

I think setting deadline is important for myself, as I'm just toooo easy to get distracted and procrastinate.

Deadline is set, no matter we hit it or miss it, I think it serves the purpose of setting a target. With the target set,we can work things out more productively, I guess. But how to set a realistic and reasonable deadline is still the most difficult part.