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Work on Weekends 

Hi friends, you must be thinking the title for my post should be Fun & Enjoyment on Weekends. Yes, I do agree that’s what most of us (perhaps all of us like) after a busy weeks work schedule.

 

But I get bog down by the circumstances that drive people to still work on weekends when we have set up plenty of quality/time oriented processes in place. I hear from my friends from small to big companies that during any kind of project work this is a normal scenario. But I was just wondering why not our quality processes be it project management methodologies, lot work experience, quality tools, work / time assessments can’t help to drive the work according to the set deadlines which are generally planned after a lot of deliberation. And most of the times they look incredible on paper and in business meetings. So where’s the gap? Why are we stretching to work on weekends leading to exhaustion making the work life not that enjoyable ? Can we have a situation where we no more require stretching on weekends and can go according to our plans ?

 

It should not be a very regular scenario where we have to work on weekends in the name of delivering service to clients. I hope no client would ever tell a work to be done without understanding how much time it can take as long as we can educate him on what needs to be done for his requirement. At least the chances should be a minimal.

 

On observation what I found to be the reasons attributing to this gap are:

 

     a) Not very clear with the technology/application to correlate client  requirements.

     b) Clients requirements not gathered well

     c) Modifying / adding requirements from client side leading to changes in  

          business functionality/technical designs.

 

The list can get a bit longer but I thought these are the important few. However my idea of bringing up this topic is to identify the reasons be it technical or coordination related and see what improvements can be made to make the work life more enjoyable.

  

I will be very glad to have the readers of this blog if they can share what process improvements can be done to rectify these kinds of situations.

 

And I can go on with my next blog saying “Fun and Enjoyment during weekends”.

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4 Comments

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  1. Matthew Billingham
    I worked on one implementation where there was weekend working in order to achieve the end of blueprinting.  This was deliberately engineered by the project manager, to increase pressure, and thereby supposedly the performance of the team. 

    As you say, weekend working should be an exception, not a norm.  Partly, I think the waterfall approach of techniques like ASAP are responsible.  For example, a development that won’t be tested until mid-November has to be complete by end of September, to hit the end of the realisation phase.  Or Smartforms have to be developed in the same timescale, even though they won’t actually be used until 3 months after go-live!

    It makes life easier for the project office, but in reality it creates artificial deadlines.   I’ve worked on projects where the development effort has been divided into

    o  “what’s required at end of realisation”,
    o  “what’s required by go-live”,
    o  “what’s required some time after go-live”

    Weekend working is greatly reduced as a result.  I’ve also worked on a project where each gap identified had its own timeline for realisation, testing and user acceptance.  Weekend working was almost eliminated.  But that is does require a very competent project manager!

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    1. Vijay Vijayasankar
      Most people I know work on weekends due to their inability to say “NO”. Some folks are workaholics, and it seems to give them a kick to not have any work life balance.

      If people spend time wisely at work, and refuse to work on weekends – most PMs will get wise. After a few such projects, the sales guys will get wise too and will start selling more realistic deals to clients.

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      1. Matthew Billingham
        Some pms plans include weekend working, so you’ll probably find that with a general understanding that weekends are pretty sacrosanct, the chances of success will improve.  Weekend working will only happen as an exception.

        For anyone working on any project, with any style of project management, I recommend the book “Death March”, by Yourdon.  It contains verified, researched tips like – At a certain point, if team members continually work huge numbers of hours per week, productivity is actually less than if they worked fewer.

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        1. Sadhu Kishore Post author
          Hi.. so if the PM’s are creating an artificial pressure to increase the chances for success… then I guess the share of success should be attributed to well thought processes and the pressure itself.

          But certianly I would’nt want to work under a PM who is not realistic in approach and creates such artificial deadlines. If the sales guys can sell realistic deals then I think we may not require these artificial deadlines.

          Thanks for referring to the book.. ” Death March “. I will make an effor to read it.

          sadhu

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