As Dr. Hector Rizzoli stated, there is no such things as a short-term productivity fix. In this chapter of the book The Deadline, one can learn first about the productivity improvement when doing project management. But for this case, Mr. Tompkins had to execute a perfect plan for “stealing” Dr. Rizzoli from his trip. This plan, crafted by Belinda, helped them to gain this knowledge that was needed for the next step of the project management laboratory.
How to increment productivity? There are several answers for that question, but the main idea of Dr. Rizzoli was that those solutions will never be short-term. There must be a process, which takes time, to make a difference on the productivity of a team, an also on any scale. One needs to think of it as a long-term investment.
For the question of how to increment productivity, Dr. Rizzoli gave an intelligent answer to MR. T.. The main focus is to avoid wasted time. This factor can be discovered by assuming a fixed production rate during effective work hours. With that, one can adjust and play with the variable of wasted time to ensure that productivity increases. But it is important to know that this solution as said before, will take time. A long-term solution.
In terms of risk management, in the chapter there are some key elements that I learned. It is common to manage success by how many great projects you have done, and these projects always have risks that one must take. In this chapter, I learned that it is important to maintain a census of risks for each project, this is because with knowledge like this, one can predict on future projects when a problem is going to materialize.
To have a great risk management, it is recommended to have a risk officer, someone who knows how to find these weak points and make the company stronger. This can also work with a bad news channel, an anonymous, so problems can be more transparent and risk management becomes better. To have a more in-depth workflow you can check this article, there are several points that cover the main idea of the chapter and also it describes a flow to make when analyzing risks.
The next chapter of the book presents a new character which is the ex-general Markov. I was really interested in the story of how he decided to not leave the country and stay in the management laboratory to keep being a some kind of general, but in this case like a manager. He is the one with the most people in charge from all of the characters. He may not know a lot about technology but he has the experience to manage so many people that he is certain of his capabilities.
Markov teaches Mr. T. some of his knowledge on defense against wasted time and effort problems. The main key message that I found important was that one must be aggressive and cancel failed efforts early. This is because in my past experience it is normal to be stuck on something which is not that important, and that starts to transform into a waste of time instead of progress. So it is perfect to contain those failures and optimize the solutions.
This chapter and the other really helped me to understand some hidden problems on project management which are now clearer in my mind. I will end this post with the last note from Mr. T. which says that a day lost at the beginning of a project hurts just as much as a day lost at the end.