For one of my project management courses I am currently reading about “resource loading”, which is just a fancy term for assigning project team members to tasks to make sure that deadlines are met. Specifically, I just read a whole section on “crashing”, which is basically the practice of accomplishing tasks faster, typically by utilizing more resources, which in turn raises the cost. So basically if you have three days of testing to be done, and originally one person was assigned to spend three days doing this, you could pay two additional people to help with this task and get the work done in one day utilizing a total of three people. Makes sense? However, the authors point out that this cannot be done with all tasks. The example they provide is to say that it will always take a woman nine months to have a baby, you cannot get nine women to be pregnant for one month as a substitute.
For a text book that has been very difficult to read in parts because of technical terms and somewhat poor writing, I found it surprising that the authors chose to use such a humanistic example. In their regular style, I would assume something about manufacturing equipment would be more apt. However, it certainly got me thinking about rushing things that maybe just can’t and shouldn’t be rushed. And also what the cost of rushing could be.
I am the first to admit that working on my patience is probably the number one thing I have to do in this lifetime. I basically have none of it. I want things to happen immediately and I become fussy and cranky when I am made to wait. It’s actually ridiculous at times. I try to slow down and be in the moment and all that, but if I had my way I would probably rush around every one of life’s corners to see what’s next. In contrast, I can also procrastinate like a mo’ fo’ and be like the laziest of sloths should the mood strike.
I was reminded in an e-mail this week that some things we just need to have patience for. Just because we live in a world of immediate communication we cannot assume that everything can now bend to this hyper-speed reality – the length of time it takes for a tree to grow, or for a woman to have a child for that matter, has not changed. Some things cannot be rushed and we are for the better if we can stop and admire the process instead of jumping ahead.
– The Postiliminary –
After writing this post and thinking about it a few hours later I realized that in some ways I actually have an obsessive amount of respect for process…or I guess the order of things. I will never, and I mean NEVER read ahead in a book, or fast forward a movie I have never seen before. I also typically force myself to listen through albums the first few times one track at a a time without skipping ahead to songs I like more than others, because that is just the way it should be. Maybe this speaks more to some self-imposed stubbornness or sense of control more than patience, but there is certainly something here I need to think about.
Also, I have remembered this book that has been on my list for a while now. Mayhaps now is the time to read it.