*Original Question “We always miss the deadlines
and targets, everyone is working 24x7 and is
overworked but nothing is getting done or even
seem to be progressing. Everything is half finished
and nothing can be considered done even after
6months of the project. What do we do?”
*The Correct Question - “Sounds like a perfect case
of needing Incremental & Iterative Approach to
things. Should I explain what’s that and how and
why it works?”
* Ofcourse everyone in your Organization believes in their capabilities
to the extent of being Super Heroes being able to lift 30,000 ton
stones by themselves to make a Pyramid.
* But the pyramids weren’t made that way. Neither was Rome!
* They were build Incrementally and Iteratively
* Trivial things, Repetitive things, Things that Require a Small Effort, or
things that are Done Once in a While probably don’t warrant this
* Don’t confuse Incremental & Iterative Approach with the need for a
Standardized Process. That’s not what I’m talking about.
* I’m saying don’t bite more than you can chew, don’t gulp the entire
plate in one go.
* I’m saying it’s a very long race, you require Small Sustained Steps
* I’m saying everything is very complicated, Small Steps is the best
* Big Bang Start and then nothing progresses
* Spreading Your Self Too Thin (Absolutely nothing wrong with that
except that w/o an Incremental & Iterative approach nothing would
* Sunk Cost Fallacy – The More the Upfront Investment (Financial or
even Effort/Time) exponentially more the resistance to Change or
Abandon even if Failure is imminent
* Everything is in a State of Half Done for ever
* The criteria of Done is not established. And hence nothing is
Completed, Done or Signed Off.
* Everyone has a mindset of Everything or Nothing
* Everyone insists on 100% Upfront Planning before even starting (The
mindless Execution Fallacy!)
* The Work Breakup is huge in size and takes even the best person 3
months to Complete.
* When you execute incrementally and iteratively in small delta’s
* You can fail in a small portion with low risk and costs
* You can easily reverse or roll back a delta
* You can merge two parallel streams of efforts very easily
* Collaboration is easier
* Its easier to mark something as Done/Complete
* Things Progress
* It takes unconscious effort to do small things and very high conscious effort to do big things
* Feels like less exhausting because of small, relatively effortless, unconscious steps
* Motivation needed is small and the buildup is great
* Momentum accelerates with early wins
* The variability in estimation of small things is smaller than that of big things. Latter is more
ambiguous and often the understanding is scarce
* Knowledge is created and shared of small things with good learning's rather than something big
with known What’s and How’s but no clear Why’s!
* Reuse is higher
* Agility is higher
* You Need An Incremental & Iterative Approach
* When Complexity is too high, with very high Unknowns, Long Length of Project
Horizon, Large #Dimensions/Facets to the problem at hand
* Allow for Experimentation and a Fail Early approach
* Defer Decisions to the Last Responsible Minute
* Break Work down into chunks manageable in 2-3 days each
* No heroism, you need a Sustained Approach with Sustainable Hours (40 hour week w/
* Define criteria for considering a piece of work as Done. Get regular signoffs.
* Abandon the Plan Based Mentality & Approach
* Absolutely Avoid Huge Upfront Investments and Effort
* Golden Rule: Dream up an Incremental & Iterative Approach to deliver the Project.
* Golden Rule: If you have trouble executing, you don’t need a better plan. The heavy
upfront plan itself is the problem, you need an incremental and iterative sustained
agile approach to Execution.