Why does it seem that projects always take longer than we anticipate? Because they typically do. Leaders generally underestimate the time it will take to complete any complex task. They fail to account for the challenges and obstacles inherent in completing large or elaborate projects, preferring instead to remain optimistic about what could be achieved in the allotted time. Unfortunately, far too often their optimism shines brightly until reality snuffs out the light.
We took a few minutes to discuss the Planning Fallacy together: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1YqKDoEnbzoxV
Re: Deadlines - I think we sometimes put undue pressure on ourselves and set self-imposed deadlines when they aren't really needed. I've found (I've actually measured this) that people care less about meeting a deadline and more about regular communication about progress. I did a study for a Facilities Department where I tried to identify key drivers of customer satisfaction on Facilities Services requests (N ~ 12,000 requests). The #1 predictor of customer satisfaction was not 'the request was completed on-time' but 'the Service Tech provided frequent updates to me on the progress and completion of my request'. Like the Admired Leadership behavior - Frequency, Not Quality, Deepens Relationships Most.
I started using the pre mortem approach to test my timelines. And phrase the question as “what WILL go wrong?” instead of “what COULD go wrong”.
I've learned to push back on unrealistic deadlines.
Even push back on those that want something down overnight when its been sitting in their queue for a month and they haven't acted on it.
Re: Spaces convo today - Yes, you can beat the planning fallacy - Track the actual duration of each project against your estimated duration. Kind of like a decision log, over time it will help you become a better forecaster. In my experience, once a deadline is set, don't move it, EVER. Burn the ships so there is no turning back too. Keep the deadline but reduce the scope if you're running behind. In my experience the people that are best at funning projects on time aren't the PMP Certified Project Managers (sorry) or the Agile Software Dev people (you just push unfinished work into the next Sprint most times, that's cheating) - It is your friendly neighborhood Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt. Hands down they are the best. Why? To long to post but they follow a superior methodology (I admit I'm a little biased).