Nowadays, most people have developed the habit of planning projects in advance. However, many people do it simply because their company requires them to do so, and they don't feel the benefits of planning. Therefore, I want to briefly discuss why we need to plan.
When a client sends us a task, we may quickly start writing code after a brief review without proper preparation. During the process, we realize there is a flaw in the request and try to confirm with the client. The client adjusts the requirements after some consideration, causing most of the earlier-written code to be wasted. We work overtime to fulfill the requirements, thinking that we will receive praises from the client. However, we end up receiving complaints from the client’s boss, who is displeased with the amount of time spent.
Although we explain that certain parts were complex or had technical difficulties, the client is not convinced and further criticizes us for not informing him about the extent of time needed beforehand.
Does this story sound familiar? It's not just a joke but a true case that has happened many times. Therefore, the company determined to implement project planning and make it transparent to clients. The planning process enables us to understand the client's real needs, conduct feasibility research, and reach a consensus with clients regarding work content and timeframes. Although the development launch time may look delayed, preparing well can prevent waste, and the project delivery success rate can increase.
Without a plan, we cannot evaluate our work performance, whether it's fast or slow. With a plan, we have a benchmark for evaluation. Of course, this benchmark is not absolute. When we find inaccuracies in the plan, we can revise it and adjust expectations accordingly. One misconception we should correct is that we should not always strive for perfection. If we have studied evolution (such as "The Blind Watchmaker"), we would agree that nothing in the world is perfect. Things that appear to be perfect today slowly evolved from imperfection. Even imperfect things are useful. For example, sharp eagle eyes are useful, normal human eyes are more useful than near-sighted ones, near-sighted eyes are more useful than cataracts, and even light-sensitive eyes are more useful than complete blindness.
With a plan and evaluation system, we have the opportunity to enter the PDCA quality improvement cycle. We will analyze why the plan did not meet its deadline and make improvements to ensure next time's plan's accuracy, thereby enhancing the ability to create accurate plans and attain goals. This overall improves employees' qualities in the company.
Deadline is productivity Plans serve as both guidelines and constraints. They oblige us to complete the tasks within the stipulated timeframe rather than working for an undefined period. In the plan, each task and milestone has a predefined deadline. Under the pressure of deadlines, people will become more focused on their work, take an active approach to solve problems, and thus “Deadline is productivity.”