I’ve been listening quite a bit to the Freakonomics Podcast as part of my self-education. They’re always fascinating, but this one was particularly interesting, as well as relevant to a struggle we often have here at RMRS. Staying ahead on content and getting things done on time.
As always, Dubner has distinguished and brilliant guest on his show to discuss the subject at hand. It’s very seldom that they all agree, but on this one they came pretty close. They all concluded, in a nutshell, that projects are late so often because of optimism bias, i.e. not budgeting enough time and resources. They don’t always think it’s bad (one guest links pessimism bias to depression and creativity stagnation!), but they all call for a more realistic approach to budgeting and deadlines. The solution they offer is to look more at data (costs and time of previous projects) even though that option isn’t allways terribly popular.
It would be an interesting research to compare previous RMRS projects’ time and cost with our estimates of new ones, especially if our goal as a team is to get content out with more advance notice.