Not long ago, I started a new engagement with a new client on a new project. On day 2 of the job, I found myself in the office of a rather senior leader within the organization. His comments were roughly as follows…
“This is a rather odd project. Yes, we plan to execute the project using our Agile SDLC, but we’re basically implementing a COTS product and the vendor will be in charge of doing all the development. We have a fixed price contract in place for the next 2 years so, frankly, I don’t really care if we just keep everyone locked in a room for 2 years and slide pizzas under the door as long as the work gets done. Why do we care about sustainable pace?” (This quote is only minimally exaggerated. “Lock them in a room and slide pizzas under the door” is actually a direct quote.)
At the time, I was a bit surprised by the comments and not entirely prepared to provide a rebuttal.
What do you think of the comment? And what research, data, ideas, or philosophies have you found useful to convince leadership that sustainable pace is important even when they aren’t dealing with “their” people?