The impossibility of predicting the future has been brought home to me with a vengeance! My friend of 30 years, former business partner and teacher Brian Doyle passed away last night. When we last met, 10 days ago he was planning to be home from hospital within 2 to 4 days!
Brian taught me much of what I know about scheduling. Many of the themes running through these blogs are echoes of his thought and ideas.
- Keep the schedule simple and elegant.
- Make sure you get buy-in from the front line supervisors who will actually do the work (they’re going to do what they’re going to do, it helps if the schedule agrees).
- Understand the strengths and weaknesses of both the CPM methodology and the scheduling tools you use.
- Communicate, communicate and then communicate.
- Many useful heuristics on the way building projects in particular shape up from a time perspective.
- Keep focused on the big picture not the details.
- Common sense is a very rare commodity in people and totally absent in computers.
- Any wine will do as long as it is high quality and red.
Brian’s life has been long and varied, from the British merchant marine to helping develop the Queensland scheduling business for Tracy Brunstrom and Hammond, to running his on consultancy and for a while partnering me in the Micro Planner business. Along the way he was the founding secretary of the Project Managers Forum, the forerunner of the Australian Institute of Project Management. Our thoughts are with his family.
I have just stared negotiations with a publisher to write ‘my book’ Scheduling for Effect. The book is some 18 to 20 moths of hard work away but it will be dedicated to a great scheduler and a better friend. Hopefully it will be a fitting tribute.