Would You Like Frosting on That?

When delivering a project – I find the final weeks the most stressful. Everything that comes up during the final stretch has way more gravitas than had it happened earlier; making them that much harder to overcome. So much has been written about this over time (e.g. Mythical Man Month, etc.) that I won’t go into here. Suffice to say that many times there is just a finite list of things that can be done. Sometimes it’s just a roll-forward – stay the course strategy and just launch when you can.

Can you tell this is where I am at in the current delivery cycle? The weeks before the Thanksgiving Holiday (here in the US) are the busiest for us in the retail world. As a consumer I assume you are aware of the reason why. What you may not aware of is that we have a practice of locking down much of the website for weeks to ensure stability. That is my current deadline – make it before we freeze.

Considering the resource triangle where time and cost (resources) are fixed then clearly my only alternative is to cut scope. I have been asked a couple of times now what we can cut and still make the launch. My answer – if you want something that people actually get a benefit from – not much. I am not trying to deliver a sever layer cake here where it’s still tasty with only 6 layers. Unfortunately, this is a 1 layer cake and one without frosting at that.

It does beg the question, is there a way we could have broken this thing down into more parts – each adding value but able to stand on their own. Off the top of my head I would say no – but it is something that I will take up during the retrospective phase of this project.

So we keep moving forward – clearing obstacles, escalating, communicating. A little luck wouldn’t hurt either.