…There was a time in my business life when a work day started around 8 am and never finished before midnight. At the beginning of each day it was clear that there was no way to get out of office early. Very often, schedules would be modified and tasks re-arranged. Quite regularly, a superior would show up at 8 pm, alterate the plan and announce what had to be finished until the next day.
While the overall output of the team was still acceptable, the efficiency was very poor. Only by investing many hours, the results could be achieved on time and quality. The output per hour was rather low.
In contrast, I experienced other projects which felt much different and were much more productive. The key difference was that the principle of “divide and conquer” was applied. In the beginning, a rigorous master plan was developed, the project was divided into modules, the modules into work streams, the work streams into key deliverables, and so on. A continuous planning process made sure to adjust the project’s roadmap along the way.
With this plan, the overall work was divided into digestable chunks. Every few hours, there was a result which fitted into the overall picture like a puzzle piece. The effect was that both motivation and efficiency increased significantly.
The “divide and conquer” method offers another great advantage: It offers the chance of having meaningful breaks inbetween the small steps and celebrate intermediate results.
Taking a break,
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