Do you know something about Goldratt, Parkinson and Steel ? Have you ever heard about effectiveness?
When I was a student, as many others, I was affected by a strange syndrome that didn’t let me be completely focused on my exams. It happened, in fact, that even if the exams were scheduled in five or six weeks, my mind resisted in letting me apply to start study since the very first days available.
So it usually happened that I found my self completely commited to study only in the last few days, nights included.
This was a such a bad habit because the day of the exam I was completely exhausted, not lucid, neither sharp and concentrated, not able to exploit my communication skills that many times helped in ciritcal situations, letting me to get out from the corner, face the situation and finding answers to what the teacher was asking for.
Unfortunately this behavior in procrastinate every commitment, is something is written in our DNA of human beings. Everytime we have a task, our brain automatically search for a deadline, the last moment within which we will be able to perform such a task. Do you know the student syndrome (Goldratt)?
As you know, this behavior is a bad one because of two main factors: under and over estimations.
1. Not always we are so good in estimations. It could happen that the last moment we choose when to apply to such a task, is not the right one, because of underestimation. This led us to a sure delay.
2. Because of the the previous point and the past experiences in bad estimations, we continue to calculate the deadline as above reported, but we automatically overestimate adding additional days or weeks, hence adding waste, to waste.
We, as humans, tend to use the entire time allocated for a task, even if it was overestimated (Parkinsons’s law).
To face to such disfunctionalities, mr Steel studied the pehnomena and produce an equation that follows:
This equation states that the less the time we have to execute a task, the less the distractions we encounter, the higher the commitment, the higher the value we deliver.
Hence, this is why agile, SCRUM more precisely, define time-boxing and rithms for virtually everything.
It prescribes exact durations for meetings: in one month iteration we have 8 hrs for the planning meeting, 15 mins for the daily meeting, 4 hrs for the demo and three hours for the retrospective.
We have daily, weekly, monthly rythms.
These few rules, helps the team to remain focused and committed to the work they must perform.