Do It Now!

Wish we could tape this meeting we are sitting here observing...

A client team is doing an online schedule pull-in meeting with groups in California, the East Coast (US) and in China. The leader just stopped the conversation to send an on-the-spot email to one of the remote project managers to ask if they can get a supplier to accelerate a tool installation, saying she is willing to pay to accelerate. Click, send, she is back into the discussion...

The team is reviewing each target (there are about 15 in their schedule). Each week they assess the gap between the target date and the current schedule, and review the critical path to each. They walk down each task on the critical path, starting from the first (in-progress) task, asking if anything can be done to accelerate it. They continue down each task until they exhaust all possibilities, then move to the next milestone. Periodically, they peel back a few layers of the critical paths to see if there is anything upstream they can cut/reduce/do differently to make it go faster (fixing a problem before it becomes a problem).

For each pull-in, they discuss, take actions, record them in the schedule or just make the call immediately to do something that will accelerate the schedule. It is very fast paced and actually hard for us as outsiders to follow all the nuances and technical details. They put their changes into the schedule in real-time and see how they impacted the schedule. Wow, they just got a 8 day pull-in after working through a 5 day slip - a net 3 day win!

They know the cost of delay and they know every day counts. Their project is critical to enable the company to meet exponential demand for their product, so money invested now will pay dividends later. Their growth depends on their success in pulling-in the schedule.

In the end, it all boils down to one thing the client said after the meeting: "That pull-in just saved the company millions of dollars".

What are they doing:

  • Do it now

  • Pay to save a day

  • Act versus talk about it

  • Schedule is king

  • Creative thinking - finding solutions to make it go faster

  • Don’t accept no for an answer

  • Get in people’s faces (in this case their suppliers)

All these are documented in our best practices. The leader is demonstrating (leading by example) this behavior to her team. The leader is empowered to spend money and make decisions (which is key).

We wish we could tape these meetings, but it is all confidential. However, we can report that we observe teams using the FTTM System and these behaviors to pull-in schedule every week. This is a rather normal team for us.