In the previous post, we defined the second game, Hope Is Our Most Important Strategy. Game three is about Queen Of Denial. The post is based on a remarkable book written by Johanna Rothman, Manage It!
How can we recognize patterns for the third schedule project game? When you present bad news and you still hear words: hard, deadline, you, believe. Your manager’s strategy is to ignore reality. Very probably, you will be speechless on that. Even worse, your Queen Of Denial manager will accept that silence as his deadline confirmation.
The manager wants to motivate the project team by setting an impossible delivery date beliving that with such an ambitious deadline, the project team will deliver sooner.
How To Deal
You must find out what is the reason for manager denial:
- Use Context-Free Questions. Context-free questions are useful in revealing project requirements. For that purpose, we have two groups of such questions: product and process. We do not want to bias user input. We have only two months for this project is biasing user input and is not a context-free question. How much time do we have for this project is not biased and is the context-free question.
- Present Project Risks with low, high, and medium. The queen of denial will try to shuffle risks with numbers.
- Present the reality of your team velocity. The precondition is to have pebble size tasks. Only with pebbles, your velocity will represent reality.
- Give alternative encouragements to the Queen of denial. Shorter iteration time frames are one example.
The best mitigation action is to put Queen Of Denial manager’s attention to any other company projects.