Thursday, November 13, 2008

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

Have you ever been driving and heard this from the back seat? I don't have kids that are old enough yet, but I've seen it in the movies plenty of times and am not looking forward to it.

I once found myself saying this when on a flight to Japan. 13 hours on a plane will make you go a little batty. The thing that saved me was the projection on the wall showing the plane relative to the earth with a miles and minutes countdown to landing. Every time I asked myself if we were there yet, I had the answer right in front of me.

When the jetstream shifted and the flight was delayed, this was immediately shown on the screen with the new projection.

Sound familiar? Sounds like a burn-down chart to me (minus the history).

When the plane first took off, a projection was made immediately even though we hadn't made any progress yet. How'd they do that? Sounds like they used yesterday's travels to determine velocity.

When I download software from the internet to my computer, it gives me a sense of how much is complete and how much time remains. This is constantly adjusted as more pieces and packets arrive.

All of these methods make more accurate projections as progress is made.

In some form, ever since we've had the ability to provide this type of feedback on planes, gps devices, software downloads, etc... we've been staring the burndown concept in the face. Why did it take me so long to want this in my daily job?

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