Risk Management

Should You Delay the Project?

If a unique project requires a couple more weeks in the oven to let it hit its full potential, you should probably allow it. What about when projects are missing deadlines all the time? Bruce Benson writes about your options when it comes to prolonging a project in a post at his blog.

Delay or Nay?

Benson relates a story of how he and his team were the first to get a product to market ahead of competition. It was pretty buggy, but being the only game in town, it sold really well. But then the competition put out its product, making up for lost time by being of much higher quality. Since new software at Benson’s company had initially buggy software as its foundation, Benson and his team had difficulty releasing new products on time, whereas the competition kept pushing their advantage.

Benson’s company CEO wanted to speed up product delivery, whereas Benson saw that it was already taking an average of 18 months to deliver new products that were promised within a window of 12-15 months. In this scenario, Benson did not believe delaying project delivery could help, since they were apparently already doing this to no good effect. Instead, Benson came up with a sort of… reverse delay?:

How did we fix it?  Simple.  We started on our next product three months earlier than we would have normally started on it… What happened?  Well, the project was just as crazy and crisis ridden as any of our previous projects.  The difference was when we had finished and the customer had accepted our product, it was still on time and our quality had improved — improved dramatically.

At the original post, Benson makes a halfhearted attempt to compare and contrast this method to an article by Bloomberg Business, which talks about how the video game giant Electronic Arts has recently taken to delaying its games in order to improve what has been sagging game quality. But Benson never really addresses the content of the article directly, making the reference feel more like clickbait than fuel for a good comparison. His insights are otherwise still valid though. You can read the original post here: http://pmtoolsthatwork.com/delaying-projects-lessons-learned-from-electronic-arts/

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