How often are we surprised when a task, or entire project, slips unexpectedly because key staff have outrageously taken a holiday, at a critical point in the project schedule?
And, of course, the pattern of holiday absences is compounded by the number and variety of roles involved, which can make project management a nightmare from May through to the end of August.
The Anglo-Saxon work ethic often seems to drive our project planning towards the edge of the cliff of sensibility; with many projects faltering or failing during the Summer months, due to the absence of key players.
I have seen far too many project resource plans that don’t recognise a simple fact: people like to holiday in Summer.It’s fairly obvious to me that a resource plan is fundamentally flawed if it does not incorporate the holiday plans of the people assigned to the project.
Not everyone is willing to trade their Summer sunshine for a project so our well-laid plans might be doomed to inexorable slippage caused by the frequent and random absences of key players at critical points, which is what all too often happens with projects scheduled to run through the Summer months.
Maybe we should adopt the simple approach of making sure that the critical paths of major projects are properly planned for the Summer “silly season” and look very, very closely at the resource plans for any activities scheduled when there isn’t an R in the month.
Just think, we might end up with better productivity and performance, a bit of much-needed sun on our backs and far fewer disappointed customers.