A typical project management update?
In the opening scene of Return of the Jedi we see a partially completed death star and the arrival of Darth Vader to an honor guard. The exchange may be all too familiar to all of the project managers out there:
Moff Jerjerrod: "Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your presence -"
Darth Vader: "You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I'm here to put you back on schedule."
Despite being a master of the dark side of the force, Darth Vader doesn’t display a sophisticated grasp of project management. His answer to recovering the schedule is to simply “motivate” the resources through an implied threat. He has no idea if a lack of motivation is really the root cause of schedule problems or if his motivation techniques will impact the critical path.
What is the best way to stay on schedule?
How best to motivate your team?
If you have fallen behind, what's the best way to catch up?