Thoughts on quality & productivity, in and out of the office.

10 projects, 10 people



You wake one day with 10 projects to complete, and 10 people to do the work.

What’s your approach?

Option A

Assign one person to each project and run all 10 in parallel.

  • Each project takes a long time.
  • Project fatigue compounds key person risk.
  • Slow moving projects are ripe for scope creep.
  • Lower quality output. One perspective is rarely better than two.
  • Higher management overhead is needed to span 10 streams of work.

Everyone is busy and it feels like progress but activity =/= productivity.

Option B

Carefully select the two highest potential projects, build two cross functional teams of 5, execute.

  • Higher velocity. Value is created when things get finished, not when they get started.
  • Cross functional teams do better work. Focus and a mix of expertise breeds quality.
  • Being selective pays off. 20% of the projects will generate 80% of the value. Value might mean problems solved, revenue generated, costs saved, things learned, future opportunities unlocked.

Deciding what to do is hard. Deciding what not to do is harder.

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount
of work not done–is essential.
Agile Manifesto Principles

And remember, you can always return to projects 3+ if the priority order hasn’t changed.

Thoughts on quality & productivity, in and out of the office.

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