CONVERSATIONS on hitting deadlines and commitments

  1. firm commitments that other people rely on, and
  2. aspirational targets that are directional but flexible
  1. Diversions/Interruptions. In a world where employees have a range of responsibilities, it’s rare that they get to focus on a task without being pulled in other “urgent” directions.
  2. Optimistic estimates. There’s typically a lot of responsibility to go around for (often wildly) optimistic estimates of how long a task will take to complete.
  3. Suboptimal execution. People, particularly people with only a few years of experience, will often miss a healthy balance of elegance and efficiency. A common problem is spending a lot of time getting a project done with “very high quality” when it might have been just as effective to have achieved only “high quality” (and may have taken 50% of the time). This is a huge learning opportunity, and good mentoring is essential. (Some people have the opposite problem, i.e. getting something done really fast, with terrible quality.)

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Holly May

Holly May

Head of People & Operations @ Datavant - rebooting what it means to be a People person