The Rhythm of Accountability

Refresh Planning... The weekly rhythm of refreshes is what makes them work. Team members know they are accountable to their colleagues every week at a set time. It can’t move and it can’t be postponed. And doing them more than once a week is even better, but they must be short and crisp value-added events.

The rhythm is what makes it work. It is the first regular discipline that most teams experience and it is the start of gaining control over the schedule. Late, postponed, missed meetings never help a project finish faster.

Standard 30 Minute Refresh Agenda

  • Update Schedule(go fast!)

  • Pull-in Schedule

    • Breakdown (near term critical path tasks)

    • Refine (edit, fix, adjust)

    • If more extensive scrubbing is needed, arrange this to be done later in day with affected people

  • Run Wigglechart (save it)

    • Review WigglechartGenerally discuss each target milestone's trend (the health of project)

  • Track each milestone backwards from target date, in order to understand drivers, specifically:

    • Review the trend of each target milestone using the Wigglechart

    • Locate this target milestone on the Gantt Chart, and then walk backwards through the critical path from this milestone and discuss what is driving the milestone, i.e., discuss what is pushing out the milestone (slipping) and what needs to be done to pull it back

    • Some teams like to know what caused a slip (the why)… walking backwards from the Target Milestone will help people understand what is pushing the milestone out

    • The key is to use the Wigglechart to first identify the trend, then use the gantt to show what is causing that trend (flip back & forth between each)

    • Repeat this cycle for each of your target milestonesReview wiggle, then track path from this milestone using gantt

  • Review critical pathand discuss next week's critical tasks to determine what is needed to make them happen on time or earlier, i.e., look forward a week or two in order to prepare people for what is immediately ahead and discuss potential problems before then happen (mitigate as needed)

  • Immediately after meeting create PDFs and send to team members:

    • Complete Gantt

    • Critical Path Gantt

    • Wigglechart

    • Owner Report

Key Success Factors:

  1. Start on time and end on time

  2. Start regardless of who is there, eventually the team will show up on time (don’t wait for people to arrive since this just rewards bad behavior)

  3. Don’t ask team if they are ready to start, just start

  4. Go fast, don’t get lost in technical discussion (put it in the parking lot for an off-line meeting)

  5. Don’t change meeting day or time after it is set

  6. Each person has a stand-in to speak for them when they are not available (including the the program driver)