Dashboards Versus Delivery: Are You Weighing the Pig or Feeding the Pig?

In the dynamic world of project management, there’s a constant tug-of-war between planning and executing, between talking and doing, between documenting and delivering. It’s crucial for teams and leaders to strike the right balance. But how does one discern that sweet spot?

The Delicate Balance
At one end, comprehensive project management, with its meticulous planning and elaborate documentation, promises clarity and control. Dashboards paint a vivid picture of project health, highlighting milestones achieved, and predicting roadblocks. But the risk? Spending too much time on creating the perfect plan, adjusting the dashboards, or documenting each minutiae could lead to analysis paralysis.

At the other end is the pressing need for tangible project delivery. After all, a project’s success isn’t gauged by the number of meetings held or the extensiveness of documents produced but by the actual output. An overemphasis on administrative tasks could starve the primary goal: product delivery.

Costs and Benefits
Administrative and documentation efforts, though seemingly cumbersome, are not without their merits. They establish a foundation, offering clarity and aligning stakeholders. They prevent scope creep and ensure that resources are used optimally. But there’s a tipping point. When the cost of these activities starts to overshadow their benefit, it’s time to recalibrate.

The Agile Manifesto’s Insight
This dilemma reminds us of a key principle from the Agile Manifesto: valuing “working products over comprehensive documentation.” Agile methodologies, like Scrum and Kanban, emphasize iterative development and continuous delivery, making sure that teams don’t lose sight of the end goal. It’s not a call to abandon documentation, but a reminder to prioritize: what drives value to the customer?

Weighing or Feeding?
Here’s an analogy: Imagine a farmer keen on raising a healthy pig. If he’s incessantly weighing the pig, checking its metrics, but neglects to feed it adequately, the pig won’t grow. Similarly, in project management, while it’s essential to measure (weigh), it’s even more crucial to act (feed).

Final Thoughts
In the dance of project management versus project delivery, harmony is key. While dashboards offer insight, they shouldn’t overshadow delivery. It’s a delicate balance, and the mastery lies in knowing when to talk and when to act, when to measure, and when to execute. As we tread this path, let’s ensure we’re feeding our projects just as much as, if not more than, we’re weighing them.

Adapt Consulting Company

We deliver projects and change, and improve the confidence, capacity, drive and desire of the people we work with. We understand data, technology and process and support people to drive performance and progress for purpose, profit and planet.

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