You can look through the LiquidPlanner website and see many, many benefits that indeed make LP a great Project Management choice. But the most important benefit receives little attention – the ability to handle variation. To understand this, let’s walk through a typical set of steps and see where they lead.
The process starts with a simple question:
Project Manager: “How long will your task take?”
Resource: “It depends.. If everything goes well, it should take 8 days. But many times the task takes 12 days.”
PM: “OK, but the software says I have to enter one number. What do you want that to be?”
Resource Internal Thought: Well, shit happens, and I don’t want to get kicked in the ass over this task.
Resource: “OK, put down 12 days”
PM: “Seriously? Don’t pad the estimate! I’m putting down 11.”
Resource: “Fine. Don’t blame me if this project is just as late as all the others you run.”
PM Internal Thoughts “Jerk” … or worse
When the task comes through to the resources, several things could happen:
The bottom line is that there is little chance the task will finish early. So tasks can finish late, but there is little chance that they’ll finish early. Thus, projects will finish late under this scenario.
However, LP has the best/worse entry method that captures the variability. The Resource has answered question with a range, and the PM walks away trusting that estimate.
If the Resource is handling business and the project doesn’t look like it will be late, then we’ll be fine, and we can let them keep doing what they are doing. But if one of the human behavior kick in on the Critical Chain, early alarms (<98%) will go off. The problem is found and addressed early on.
And don’t forget, the priority list for the constraint gives that resource clarity – do this, then this, etc. Multi-tasking – the biggest evil world – is mitigated to only a few tasks on the Critical Chain.
So while LP has many, many attributes, the ability to handle variation is by far the best. But don’t look for it to say that on the LP site. Thank God it appears on mine!
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