Public Displays of Perfection
By publicly airing your schedules, you can reap great business benefits.
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Use Public Declarations Deliberately
If you're starting a project, find external benchmarks and share them with the team. Then post your project timeline in a public place.
Between departments, public timelines can help you find overlooked issues. Within a department, public timelines can help different teams and groups establish the kind of standards that the HBS students so drastically miscalibrated in our business simulation. When teams can see how other teams perform, it sets a new standard for what's possible and achievable. It also means that people know who to go ask for suggestions. "Hi, member of Super Successful Team. I see your project is early and under budget. I don't think I can transfer to your team quickly enough to share your bonus, so maybe you could teach my team how you were able to get such good results?"
Showing your entire GANNT chart publicly—rather than just the deadlines—has the added bonus of informally sharing some of that working information. Sam's team could look at another team's GANNT chart and notice, "Pat's team developed the product _before_ writing the instruction manual. There could be some advantages to that. Want to try it?"
If you're starting a project, do what I had Sam do: find external benchmarks and share them with the team. Then post your project timeline in a public place. It will help establish norms throughout the company. You'll pull together more tightly to deliver on time. You'll engage in learning from other groups simply by seeing how they structure their time differently.
And lastly, when your competitors visit the office, they'll see your astonishing project plans, be completely intimidated, and offer to sell their company to you for ten cents on the dollar. Say Yes.
Check out more of Get-it-Done Guy's awesome project management tips.