This article is a bit geeky, and reminds me of the kind of thinking I first learned to do in graduate school. It’s all about building accurate schedules for software development projects, and the need to drive down to small tasks in order to properly estimate the length of large projects.
There are some interesting points that it makes that I recognize from using Orange Belt scheduling techniques, or in other words, replacing task lists with a single schedule.
1. It’s easy to over-estimate your ability to get stuff done. When you start using a schedule, you quickly start to wonder if you’re not a bit crazy, because everything seems to take much longer than it ever used to. It doesn’t. You’ re just paying attention for the very first time.
2. You can’t put more blocks of wood in a box than it can hold. In other words, you can’t schedule a 5 hour task into a 2 hour time-slot. You’ll be shocked at how badly this works when you start working with a schedule of your tasks!
3. When you use a schedule, you learn the power of distributions, and unbiased estimates. That’s a fancy way of saying that when you tell the kids that it will take you all 3 hours to drive to Orlando from Miami, that what you really mean is:
– the real average drive time is four hours
– the distribution varies from 2.75 hours to 5.5 hours
They’ll thank your for your precision and honesty…