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Thank you for sharing. A very intersting post. There is a big mistake in the article: think that have an schedule is a synonim of have a plan or make planning. Is the same we leave in our companies when we ask somebody "send me the plan please" and we receive a ms project schedule. The second big mistake is thinking that do not achieve the estimation is a sign of bad planning. At the end, all people in this world make plans. The point is the degree of formality they use.
Ongoing planning is critical but plans are ephemeral. The key is to plan no further than the visible range of our headlights...
"This tendency may be exacerbated by “motivated reasoning” – we often look only for the evidence that suits our goals, and it is often within our interests to feel that a project can be completed quickly and with less effort, leading us to ignore or dismiss clues that it might take longer."
This should more accurately be called 'willing self-deceit', and if we engage in it we can't be surprised when our plans inevitably fail.
This echoes my personal experience perfectly. As human beings we most often tend to be optimistic when "guessing" at the durations of tasks even if it done so subconsciously. This where I see the power of AI or data analytics being used to base future project costs and schedules on the actuals of previous projects. We should already be there, but I see momentum in this direction.
The skill of estimating is highly important for PMs, and as part of risk management it is always good to validate any bottom-up estimates with a top-down one, or vice versa.
In business, we often set "stretch goals". We challenge ourselves to try and do more than we know can be accomplished without risk, and even if we don't reach that goal, we often achieve more than if we set easy goals to meet.
The danger is sometimes we set the bar too high and set people up for failure that way. If people see they are being asked to do the impossible, they look for other employment, the ability level of the team erodes, and failure becomes even more certain.
A very relevant share thank you for bringing up this discussion!
If a team says they can finish 1km of work per day, some manager will challenge them to complete 8km by the end of the week. Then when the team completes their predictable 5km in that week, some enraged director will call the PM and shout "How will you get your team back on schedule?"
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