Do a time estimate before you do anything else

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Readiness & Strategy
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We’ve been looking at the 6 steps in the simplified “battle procedure” for business. Last week we covered step 1, issuing a warning order to your troops. This week we cover step 2, the time estimate.

Too often leaders launch into planning–or worse–executing their plans without conducting a proper time estimate. Simply put, a time estimate is the process of identifying all of the key steps you need to do to accomplish your mission and achieve your end state (or immediate objective). Here are steps for conducting a time estimate.

  • When must you be finished or have achieved your mission/aim?
  • What time/date is it now?
  • How much total time is available (whether minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months)?
  • What are the key tasks and steps you need to accomplish to achieve your aim?
  • How much time is required for each of these tasks/steps?
  • What can be done concurrently or launched early?
  • What is essential and what is only desirable or ancillary?
  • Are the specific intermediate milestones or timelines you must respect?

Once you have this information, you list all of these tasks, including concurrent ones, then you work back from the deadline or end state milestone to the current time. That gives you all of the key tasks on the critical path along with concurrent tasks and items that can be delegated to others.

I’m never too busy to discuss your needs or those of anyone else you feel may benefit from meeting or talking to me. So feel free to contact me at any time!

Ask me about my new “Battle Procedure Briefing” for business.

Richard Martin is a Master Strategist and Leadership Catalyst. Richard brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to radically improve performance, grow, and thrive in the face of rapid change, harsh competition, and increasing uncertainty.

© 2014 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.

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