prevailing rule of project managementprevailing rule of project management - - In traditional project management, the belief that the way to ensure that a project will finish on time is to ensure that every task finishes on time.
Example: This rule of project management causes a common core conflict for the resource. The evaporating cloud is:
Every resource manager and resource in a project is pressured to complete tasks within the time estimate he or she provided. However, a project by its very nature has high uncertainty, which means that the right tail of the task time distribution is very long. A task time estimate that has an 80% chance of being achieved (an 80% task time estimate) may be twice as long as an estimate with a 50% chance of being achieved (a 50% task time estimate probability). Once accepted, the task time estimate becomes a commitment to the resource and at the same time creates a conflict for the resource: Should the resource provide a high estimate to ensure that the task time commitment is met or should the resource provide an estimate close to 50% to avoid being seen as providing exaggerated task times? The resource usually gives a high estimate to provide local protection for hitting the
commitment. Once a high estimate of task time is accepted by management, one of two things happens: either the resource falls victim to the student syndrome and delays starting work on the task until the local protection built into the estimate is gone, or the resource finishes the task early and continues to "improve" or find other things to do until the task time is consumed (Parkinson's Law). The TOC solution to this core conflict is to: 1. Have resources provide 50% task time estimates and not hold them responsible for achieving the
2. Place protection strategically, in the form of feeding and project buffers, in the project. Syn: resource manager core conflict.