While I stand by my earlier thoughts on the importance of time management and delegation in onboarding, in today's economy we're seeing more and more cases of bosses telling their subordinates to get it done no matter what. Productivity is up because organizations are asking a reduced number of employees to do the same work that a previously larger number did. This past Sunday's Dilbert comic strip highlighted this with this exchange:
Dilbert. Your job performance is terrific.
GAA!!! That's code for 'I'm going to fire someone else and make you do two jobs.'
On the one hand, the scope-resources-time constraint is inviolate.
Let's say your scope is moving 10 boxes from one side of the room to the other. If it takes you one hour to move each box yourself and the only resource you have is yourself, it's going to take you 10 hours to move the boxes.
– If you have only five hours (time), then you can move only five boxes (scope)
– If you must move 10 boxes in five hours (scope and time), then you'll need someone to help you (resource)
Theoretically, you could empty the boxes before moving them and go faster, but that would degrade the quality of the deliverable. And quality is an assumed component of scope.
One way out of the constraint is to get creative about finding resources. Even if there is no more money and no more people, look for ways to
– move funding from one area to another
– look for creative sources of funding like capitalizing projects
– borrow people internally
– rent people externally from agencies, consultants, temporary agencies, universities, etc.
A second way out of the constraint is to get creative about increasing productivity. Back at our box example, you might be able to move more boxes yourself if you got hold of a cart or the like.
Break the Constraints while Onboarding
Our three main ideas for people moving into new roles all break the constraints.
Getting a head start creates time before the start. It's easier to get more done in 100 days if you give yourself 120 days.
Managing the message clarifies the scope and eliminates wasted effort.
Building the team by definition makes the team more productive so they can make better use of resources.
Bottom line, accept that the scope-resource-time constraint is inviolate – then find ways to violate it.