Early overtime == later project completion

Crossing the desertJohanna Rothman wrote about avoiding the “Crossing the desert syndrome” some years ago.

“A project team focuses on an interim milestone, works like the devil to meet that milestone. They meet the milestone, look up, and realize they’re not at the end of the project–they still have to finish the darn thing. They’re living the Crossing the Desert syndrome”

Recently she gave advice on how to recover from the syndrome.

At Tyner Blain, Scott gives advice on how to prevent from hitting the syndrome: 

  • Improved estimation of tasks
  • Realistic effort allocation
  • Writing verifiable requirements
  • Managing smaller work chunks
  • Feedback into the estimation cycle
  • Better communication of release content

As I read his advice I thought: “yes I agree that’s good advice, but somehow good advice is seldomly followed”.

 BTW: Patrick van Lee, a relative from my wife,  rides the Dakar race on an Aprilia motorbike

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1 Comment »

  1. Hey, thanks for reading and sharing our article! Glad you liked the advice. Yes, it can definitely be hard to follow, but it is worth it.

    As a side benefit, you gain credibility with people on and outside your team, and improve the nature of your professional relationships – it just makes work more fun. So even if the “work better” motivation isn’t enough, remember that the “improve my work environment” benefits are there as well. That helps me sometimes.

    Very cool photo too – if only we could give our developers some bikes like that – they wouldn’t mind being asked to cross the desert quite so much.

    Scott

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