Don’t Start Your Project Just Yet if you Want to Finish it on Time.

Starting projects later so that they can be finished on time?

Admittedly, that sounds paradoxical.

However, in multi-project environments, this is the key to efficiency and productivity.

In organizations that manage many projects and initiatives simultaneously, we often know from experience that employees are not as available as desired. Therefore, new projects are launched as soon as possible so we can have a safety buffer for the deadline. This approach leads to many projects running at the same time, with new projects continually being added.

In our opinion, the phenomenon of too many simultaneous projects is the root cause of inefficiency and frequent project failures.

Having better and more detailed plans doesn’t help: Even if projects are very carefully planned according to all the rules, there will be no progress at all in the project if no one has the time to take care of it.

And even when work is actually being done on the projects: If project teams are forced to constantly switch between many projects, a lot of time is lost to the associated ‘mental setup times.’ Many of us know this from personal experience: Nothing will progress if we cannot stay focused.

Case studies show that this results in a loss of productivity of 50% and more!

What are the consequences?

To put it bluntly, for a company, it’s as if employees receive a full salary for a half-day job.

For the projects, this means: They take much, much longer than necessary.

For many of your employees, this means many overtime hours, permanent overload, and stress leading to burnout.

The project managers’ fight for employees leads to escalations up to top management. This costs a lot of time, which is then missing for more important things.

Thus, everyone loses: companies, management, project managers, employees, and customers.

Of course, no one wants this. So why does it have to be this way?

The reason is that we are missing an overview of:

  • which projects have already started,
  • whether these projects are equipped with enough capacity,
  • who exactly is working on them.

And this is how you eliminate the main problem:

  • Gain an overview of which projects have started.
  • Check whether these projects are equipped with sufficient capacity.
  • If not: Pause less important projects.
  • Always start a paused project or a new project only when a team with sufficient capacity is ready to carry out the project consistently and quickly.

You will notice a quite astonishing effect after a short time:

Your projects will finish faster. As a result, you can accomplish many more projects with the same team.

To conclude: If you want to finish projects on time, start them later!

Don’t Start Your Project Just Yet if you Want to Finish it on Time.
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