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Are there any proven or benchmarked methodologies that can be leveraged to balance the challenge between maintaining quality in spite of strict timeline through a disciplined and consistent approach? The challenge I face is the more we try to improve and perfect output, the time factor might play a spoilsport...would love to hear views and perspective on how to maintain a balance and practical experiences and prioritization facets

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Is this about personal productivity or project productivity? – eminemence May 18 '12 at 9:32
@eminemence Might be either, depending on context. The OP could reframe the question to make it more explicitly about personal productivity. – Belisama May 18 '12 at 10:12
Thanks for your views. Interestingly, though my original query was more directed to personal productivity, it surely relates to project productivity as both are closely linked. Though personal productivity caters to a far wider scope of affairs, surely is applicable for project productivity. Hope this puts things in perspective and would appreciate further diligence and thoughts.... – suvankar May 18 '12 at 11:32
@Suvankar: I know this is not a full answer, but in software development there's a saying that "pre-optimization is evil". I think the good approach should be: define the basic problem, solve it by the most simple way, then expands. In short: make it simple first, then enhance. – Hoàng Long May 23 '12 at 10:09

Classically there are three factors:

  • Time
  • Quality
  • Cost.

Since you can't usually have it all a common approach is:

Pick Two

This doesn't mean the 'third' item is completely ignored. Rather it just tries to emphasize what is most important.

This is also a great interview question to ask. Just be aware that the answers are usually indirect and require some interpretation and additional follow-up questions.

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Thanks..sounds a pragmatic approach... – suvankar May 21 '12 at 4:53
What about "scope" ? – bjarkef May 30 '12 at 14:00

In programming projects it's all about getting the right quality from the start. If you start quick and dirty you end up loosing all your time fixing it later. So when you do every little piece of work in the right quality from the very beginning, you spend your time both doing quantity and quality. You have to write the lines of code to make the programm work, so why not do it in good quality straight away?

To get this thing going you need to put a little more effort into planning your whole process as a first step. The kind of programming process I describe here is called Agile software development. I'm quite sure the method can be transfered to projects that don't deal with sw development.

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your response is specifically targetted for a software project delivery/productivity perspective whereas mine was focussed on personal productivity across disciplines- appreciate your efforts nevertheless... – suvankar May 23 '12 at 9:58

The starting point here is to define what is the minimum level of quality of your work that you are willing to accept.

The next step would then be not to release any of your work before it meets those quality standards.

You can then try to optimise your processes, while maintaining the quality level.

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That maybe relevant at a high level but again leaves the gap between what is "minimum" and keeping timeline open to meet the minimum standard wouldn't serve the purpose. But I do agree the its a subjective area and hoping if some more practical and measurable parameters are available? – suvankar May 21 '12 at 4:52

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