View #2 – Less is More

Most of us have done construction on our house or know someone who has. It’s not unusual when the market is hot – like it is today, for a subcontractor to leave a project unfinished, never to return even though they hadn’t collected the last payment… If the project is not satisfying to them for one reason or another, they simply move-on.

I struggled with letting-go of how I thought we needed to ramp-up the project team to collaborate effectively. If I didn’t let-go, members of the team would simply move-on. I needed to remember the context the team works in which is – ‘I get paid by the piece. I just want my job ready to go so I can get in and out as quickly as possible’.

Also, remember what’s important to them – ‘being wanted on the next project’.

The fact is, we didn’t need to be perfectly prepared through the use of training, tools and coaching. We needed to do what we could to ramp-up given the context and what’s important to the team.

What we did was have a one hour project team huddle to create a project schedule using a ‘pull plan’ method, cold, with no training. A pull plan is created starting at the end of a project and working backwards until you reach today (working from right to left). Most of the team members were used to creating a project schedule working from today until you reach the end of the project (working from left to right).

Original Alta Vista Project Pull Plan

Original Alta Vista Project Pull Plan

We’re doing a lot less than I do with other teams to ramp-up, but more collaboration is being achieved than if we’d not remembered the context and what’s important to the team and adjusted accordingly.

Today, we get very little done by ourselves. We accomplish much of our work with or through others and this will only increase in the future.  I know by slowing-down as I have done here, the project team will be able to go increasingly faster later.


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