Projects are sometimes done on dated time-lines: for instance, in month 1 (x) should be done, in month 2 (y) should be done, and in month 3 you’re supposed to have released the project.
Then there’s that other sort of project – the one that has a nebulous timeline that is based on when customers deliver promised content. Unfortunately for me quite a few projects are based on customer deliverables, which often makes it more difficult to know when a project is really “overdue”.
Recently I’ve had a project like that – by verbal agreement, it was supposed to be a one-month long project that would have filled my schedule to the brim for the entire month. In reality it became a project that had drug on for months, a good portion of that waiting on customer deliverables or approval meetings (and we won’t speak of feature creep issues.)
After each meeting I would meet with the head of the company I currently sub-contract with (often referred to as “my sales guy”, even though I work for him, not the other way around). We always meet the same place – McAlister’s Deli. Handy because it’s never too busy, it has WiFi, and they have iced tea – which I drink in copious amounts. And for every iced tea you order they punch you “tea club” card. Get 9 punches, your 10th iced tea is free.
This has given rise to a new project progression metric, called “The McAlister’s Project Index.” One day I walked in, ordered an iced tea, and realized my customer loyalty punch card was full.
From now on, if I manage to fill an entire McAlister’s iced tea card? The project is overdue, and it’s time to wrap things up!