Just-In-Time Project Management

Just-In-Time PM #12: Just-In-Case to Just-In-Time

In Part XI, I introduced the concept of a “critical path” of tasks in a project, and the rationale for pushing tasks as late as possible on the timeline. The late starts approach inspires a tremendous amount of resistance, especially from creative knowledge workers. It sounds an awful lot like taking control from individual employees,

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Just-In-Time PM #11: Late Starts on the Critical Path

In Part X, I argued that digital knowledge work was fundamentally different than other kinds of work, because its structure, features, and purpose could be added or changed after it was built. Principle #4 of Digital Knowledge Work is therefore to “Start everything as late as possible.” This practice is known as “late starts,” and

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Just-In-Time PM #10: Structure, Features, and Purpose

In Part IX, I explained why it is so important to create placeholders for your work-in-process: to allow you to pursue multiple projects across different spans of time without losing your progress. What we are converging towards is a set of core principles for how Digital Knowledge Work is fundamentally different from previous kinds of

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Just-In-Time PM #9: Placeholders

In Part VIII, we looked at divergence and convergence as the two fundamental modes of all creative work. Now let’s see what this looks like in our day to day schedules. The main feature of the modern workday, you may have noticed, is fragmentation. Because we can now so easily switch between activities – whether

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Just-In-Time PM #8: Divergence and Convergence

In Part VII, I argued for the importance of interacting with information, instead of just passively consuming it. Interaction results in better learning at the same time as it creates valuable deliverables. But incorporating all these new ideas about how work is completed – flow cycles and intermediate packets, downscoping and evolving deliverables, interaction over

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Just-In-Time PM #7: Interaction Over Consumption

In Part VI, I recommended treating any deliverable (whether it’s a simple email all the way to a full-fledged product) as a series of evolutionary artifacts, each one intended to test an assumption or make forward progress. But there is a deeper reason for downscoping deliverables and then evolving them through a series of stages.

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Just-In-Time PM #6: Evolving Deliverables

In Part V, I introduced The Iron Triangle of Project Management and the idea that any given deliverable can be reduced or expanded in scope at any time. How should you use this newfound ability? You should use it to: Get started Maintain momentum Test assumptions To view this post, become a Praxis member. You

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Just-In-Time PM #5: The Iron Triangle

In Part IV, I introduced the idea of “intermediate packets.” Instead of delivering value in a big project that spans huge amounts of time, we want to deliver it in smaller chunks at more frequent intervals. This follows a basic principle that has revolutionized many industries: small batch sizes. The Toyota Production System (from which

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Just-In-Time PM #4: Intermediate Packets

In Part III, I argued that having a personal knowledge base is the linchpin of success in a creative economy. A knowledge base allows you to reuse past work, draw from past experiences, share your knowledge in concrete form, and eventually, build products and services out of that knowledge. This requires strategically structuring your work

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