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Manage It! by Johanna Rothman

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Tip 18Help Project Team Members Avoid Student Syndrome

Student Syndrome occurs when people wait until the last possible moment—and sometimes beyond that moment—to start working on a task (Critical Chain [Gol97]). Student Syndrome most often occurs when people estimate tasks in weeks, not days or inch-pebbles.

Student Syndrome breaks the project’s rhythm by introducing delays into the project. When Tom hasn’t finished his work and Jerry depends on that deliverable, Jerry now has a wait state.

Manage Student Syndrome by coaching team members to estimate their tasks in inch-pebbles or by using timeboxed iterations. Either way, everyone has a deliverable every day or so, which helps avoid Student Syndrome. Many people feel a little bit of pressure ...

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