Posts tagged ‘estimation’

November 9th, 2010

The Retention Equation

Imagine you’re a hungry young company trying to squeeze into a crowded marketplace. How do you unseat the entrenched competition? You’ll probably start by leveraging the skeleton staff of entrepreneurial generalists that you’re paying with stock options and pizza. You’ll ask them to work late hours and take on the sorts of projects which your competitors wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole: clients they’ve fired, projects they’ve shelved as too ambitious, campaigns that have bounced around between agencies because no one’s willing to tell the client that the idea’s idiotic.

(I’m looking at you, New York-based wireless startup named after a sitcom catchphrase.)

September 28th, 2010

Making Money

I recently interviewed a candidate who, when presented with the opportunity to pose some questions of his own, asked me how the company made money. This initially seemed like an idiotic question (since it immediately followed “why is the bathroom door locked?”), but in hindsight perhaps there’s a subtlety here that I didn’t appreciate in my rush to get the next candidate in the door.

May 15th, 2010

NUB Task Notation

Task management is a critical part of any process; beyond lies the precipice, an increasingly sheer descent of missed deadlines, forgotten details and abandoned deliverables. When projects go bad, poor task management is often to blame; while no one might remember exactly where a project slipped off the mainline, the cascading failure of incomplete or unacknowledged tasks is an unmistakable sign to stakeholders that things have somehow gone irrevocably wrong.

The problem with most task management systems is that they’re easily derailed by unexpected urgencies: misprioritization, politicization,  extraneous detail, things unquantifiable. Little wonder so many project managers fall backward into the arms of Stephen Covey at the first hint of trouble.

May 4th, 2010

The Five Stages of Bottom-Up Estimate Adoption

  1. Denial.
    “There’s nothing wrong with our current top-down estimation process. Why reinvent the wheel? Wouldn’t our time be better spent arguing about Lost?”
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