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Here is the full text:

1/ The key to finishing projects on time is to start every single step as late as possible (exactly the opposite of what most PMs do)

2/ First, because only progress on the critical path matters for final delivery, therefore all other starts are distractions

3/ It would be like spending hrs on a huge dinner prep by making all the side dishes, only to realize u forgot to pre-heat oven

4/ Second, starting early doesn't mean you'll finish early. Parkinson's Law: the task simply expands to fill the extra space

5/ Third, even if u do finish a step early, that gain will be wasted: next person won't be ready

6/ Starting a step early actually has all sorts of negat conseq, which is why procrastination is evolutionarily & logically a good strategy

7/ Starting early increases likelihood u don't have all info and prereqs, making rework likely (i.e. estimate blowout)

8/ Starting early increases the surface area for interruption attacks (internal & external), since u "have plenty of time"

9/ Starting early explodes the amt of lead time not spent actually working (i.e. Touch time)

10/ 70-99% of task lead time is waiting time, queueing, pending confirmation, waiting on approval, learning, rampup, setup, etc

11/ Ppl complain about estimation being hard, but it's not "uncertainty". It's them starting things early due to supposed uncertainty!

12/ But maybe the worst effect of starting early is that ppl start late anyway. Who actually begins a step before they have to?

13/ So you get worst of both worlds: a LONG plan with huge lead times, which are ignored as ppl do everything last minute. Vicious cycle

14/Last reason early starts suck, is they give illusion of safety. But Murphy doesn't hit everywhere evenly, he concentrates chaos at 1 spot

15/ Irony is this is self-reinforcing: did you hit the deadline because u executed well, or because you had excessive safety (100-200%)?

16/ So person who adds the most excessive safety is rewarded for "hitting their estimate," as if estimating and executing are independent

17/ Late starts fix all this: when the step is "released," they have barely enough time to finish if they go at full speed

18/ This pressure helps them focus, get into flow, ignore distractions/interruptions, optimize for 1 thing, get it done!

19/ Procrastination isn't an issue, because they're already behind, since u also cut their estimated lead time in half (oops!)

20/ If they finish on time it's actually a cause for celebration, and the next person can actually take advantage of the time gained

21/ The PM knows what to focus on, since u start with few steps (critical path ones) and only gradually begin new ones as late as possible

22/ Another benefit: once crit path person passes hot potato, they're free! U don't assign them new work, that would be punishing perform.

23/ Late starts also help with resource contentions (the same person doing 2 steps), esp important in cross-funct creative teams

24/ Instead of "start everything NOW!" You're saying "U must not start anything until the last poss moment. Focus on the current task!"

25/ This helps ppl not multitask, since they only have one task at any given time, and it's late!

26/ Ppl are generally happier: focus + flow + roadrunner mode (only 2 speeds, 100% & 0%) + fast results = happiness for both emp & co

27/ ANOTHER benefit of late starts: u have much better estimation data, since lead time now more closely approximates touch time

28/ 3 main results of all this: throughout (output x sales) explodes, lead time per project plummets, and huge excess capacity is revealed

29/ U read that right: earlier u start steps, the later u deliver projects, the more excess capacity you're likely to have

30/ Why? Because the almost universal response to late projects is "we need more capacity!" False. U need to use what u have

31/ The busier everyone in your co seems to be, the more confident I am that you have tremendous, double-digit excess capacity

32/ To add insult to injury, emps in such companies also say they're "too busy to invest in productivity." Speed up the hamster wheel!

33/ BUT to use late starts, u also need buffers. Bec some steps do in fact go late, just not as many and not as late as u think

34/ And I don't mean buffers as a general concept, u need very precisely placed and sized buffers divided into zones, updated daily

35/ There is a buffer for every purpose: project buffers, feeding buffers, iteration buffers, bottleneck buffers. Gotta know which 1 to use

36/ The PM's job becomes easy: just watch the buffer penetrations. No need to do anything until it gets to Zone 3 or 2, all else is noise

37/ If u want to know where all this comes from, Critical Chain Project Mgmt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_chain_project_managem...




And here it is reformatted into paragraphs:

The key to finishing projects on time is to start every single step as late as possible (exactly the opposite of what most PMs do). First, because only progress on the critical path matters for final delivery, therefore all other starts are distractions. It would be like spending hrs on a huge dinner prep by making all the side dishes, only to realize u forgot to pre-heat oven.

Second, starting early doesn't mean you'll finish early. Parkinson's Law: the task simply expands to fill the extra space. Third, even if u do finish a step early, that gain will be wasted: next person won't be ready. Starting a step early actually has all sorts of negat conseq, which is why procrastination is evolutionarily & logically a good strategy:

* Starting early increases likelihood u don't have all info and prereqs, making rework likely (i.e. estimate blowout)

* Starting early increases the surface area for interruption attacks (internal & external), since u "have plenty of time"

* Starting early explodes the amt of lead time not spent actually working (i.e. Touch time)

70-99% of task lead time is waiting time, queueing, pending confirmation, waiting on approval, learning, rampup, setup, etc. Ppl complain about estimation being hard, but it's not "uncertainty". It's them starting things early due to supposed uncertainty! But maybe the worst effect of starting early is that ppl start late anyway. Who actually begins a step before they have to? So you get worst of both worlds: a LONG plan with huge lead times, which are ignored as ppl do everything last minute. Vicious cycle.

Last reason early starts suck, is they give illusion of safety. But Murphy doesn't hit everywhere evenly, he concentrates chaos at 1 spot. Irony is this is self-reinforcing: did you hit the deadline because u executed well, or because you had excessive safety (100-200%)? So person who adds the most excessive safety is rewarded for "hitting their estimate," as if estimating and executing are independent.

Late starts fix all this: when the step is "released," they have barely enough time to finish if they go at full speed. This pressure helps them focus, get into flow, ignore distractions/interruptions, optimize for 1 thing, get it done!

Procrastination isn't an issue, because they're already behind, since u also cut their estimated lead time in half (oops!). If they finish on time it's actually a cause for celebration, and the next person can actually take advantage of the time gained. The PM knows what to focus on, since u start with few steps (critical path ones) and only gradually begin new ones as late as possible.

Another benefit: once crit path person passes hot potato, they're free! U don't assign them new work, that would be punishing perform. Late starts also help with resource contentions (the same person doing 2 steps), esp important in cross-funct creative teams. Instead of "start everything NOW!" You're saying "U must not start anything until the last poss moment. Focus on the current task!"

This helps ppl not multitask, since they only have one task at any given time, and it's late! Ppl are generally happier: focus + flow + roadrunner mode (only 2 speeds, 100% & 0%) + fast results = happiness for both emp & co.

ANOTHER benefit of late starts: u have much better estimation data, since lead time now more closely approximates touch time.

3 main results of all this: throughout (output x sales) explodes, lead time per project plummets, and huge excess capacity is revealed. U read that right: earlier u start steps, the later u deliver projects, the more excess capacity you're likely to have. Why? Because the almost universal response to late projects is "we need more capacity!" False. U need to use what u have. The busier everyone in your co seems to be, the more confident I am that you have tremendous, double-digit excess capacity.

To add insult to injury, emps in such companies also say they're "too busy to invest in productivity." Speed up the hamster wheel! BUT to use late starts, u also need buffers. Bec some steps do in fact go late, just not as many and not as late as u think. And I don't mean buffers as a general concept, u need very precisely placed and sized buffers divided into zones, updated daily. There is a buffer for every purpose: project buffers, feeding buffers, iteration buffers, bottleneck buffers. Gotta know which 1 to use. The PM's job becomes easy: just watch the buffer penetrations. No need to do anything until it gets to Zone 3 or 2, all else is noise 37/ If u want to know where all this comes from, Critical Chain Project Mgmt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_chain_project_managem...




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