Topic Teasers Vol. 104: Linking Holiday Absences with Performance

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It’s probably too late for this season, but every holiday season my team’s performance levels sink as people are pulled out of service for vacations. In fact, this is an issue throughout the year with innumerable reasons why team members won’t be at work. Yet management still expects us to deliver as planned. Is there any good way to manage these absences so they are less disruptive to the work progress of the team, while honoring the need for our colleagues to take much deserved time off?

A. At any management event you are invited to attend, make sure you have a PowerPoint slide with the number and names of those who are on vacation during any sprint, release, work period or phase. Leave your superiors with the idea that you won’t be able to do as much work as usual, and to whom they can assign the blame for that shortage.

B. When assembling a team, always know that in any given time period of the project, there will always be a reason you don’t have a full team. With that reality in mind, always request one additional person on the team who is multi-functional. In essence, this is your substitute player who can easily fill-in for anyone who is gone for acceptable purposes.

C. Whether you are an agile or a…

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- Douglas Adams