Pathways: Understand the critical path

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How we do things often gets to be more important than what we do.

How you say something and when to say it, gets to be more important than what you say.

This means learning tactics is important.

I want a garden in the certain area, means I need grading, a bulldozer, a permit, seeds, fertiliser, irrigation, weeding, planting, maintenance and time for everything to grow.

Do those steps in the wrong order, nothing happens.

Try to grow corn in a week by giving it a bonus or threatening to fire it, nothing happens…

Critical path analysis works backward, looking at the calendar and success and at each step from the end to the start, determining what you will be waiting on.

For example, in your mind’s eye, the garden has a nice sign in front.

The nice sign takes about a week to get made by the sign guy, and it depends on nothing.

You can order the sign any time until a week before you need it.

On the other hand, you cannot plant until you grade and you cannot grade until you get the delivery of soil and you cannot get the delivery until you have got a permit from the municipality.

Which means that if you are the person in charge of both the sign and the permit, do the permit first.

That is obvious, right? And yet…

And yet most startups focus on shiny objectives or contentious discussions or get sidetracked by emergencies instead of honoring the critical path.

Once you are aware of who’s on the path, you understand the following: delaying the critical path by one hour at the beginning of the project is the very same thing as delaying the entire project by an hour at the very end.

Rush early, not late. It is cheaper that way, and better for your peace of mind, too.

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