Guerilla Agile: Stop Playing Schedule Games

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.

Chances are good that if you've worked on a project, you've encountered a schedule game or two (maybe, three or four). As part of a team, you may have seen Schedule Chicken played by management or Ninety Percent Done played by team members. If you're a project manager, you've probably pushed back against games such as: We Gotta Have It–We're Toast Without It, Queen of Denial, We'll Go Faster Now, or Split Focus. Using time-boxed iterations and other agile practices will help you stop playing-and even avoid-these schedule games. However, you can't do it alone. First, you need to help your team and your management understand they are playing schedule games. Once they understand that games are being played, enlist their help in solving the underlying problems that lead to this dysfunctional behavior. Even if you feel stuck-"my management won't help; they're part of the problem"-you can begin employing agile practices to work your way out of schedule games from the bottom up.

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