Slow-Cooker Projects

Agile delivery and immediate responses are expected in today’s world. It is crucial that you respond to your customer’s needs as you find out about them. The world around your customers or project stakeholders changes, and you must be able to make changes to what you are delivering to match the changes that the customers see. If you don’t change according to the twists and turns that the customers know, you end up providing a result that made sense months ago but doesn’t quite fit for today’s reality. 

At the same time that you are agile, you must also have some ‘slow-cooker’ projects. When you put something in a slow-cooker(or crockpot), it cooks on low heat over a longer period of time (for example, 4-8 hours.) Crockpot(slow-cooker) meals are nice because you can assemble them in the morning and let them cook all day. When you’re ready for supper, you don’t have any prep to do. A slow-cooker project operates in the same way: You put some effort into setting up the project, and then you let the project work be done over a long period of time. And when you are ready to benefit from the results, you have a complete set of outcomes that you can benefit from 

Examples of Slow-Cooker Projects

Here are a couple of examples of slow-cooker projects: 

  1. A training program that requires every new employee to take a particular type of AI training. It will take a year or two to get a critical mass of trained employees, but at some point, the company will suddenly be ready to have an AI-first focus. 
  2. A data-gathering project where managers and employees are given templates for the data that they will collect over the next year. When you are ready to use the data in a dashboard for board reporting, you will have both a year of data and a culture of accurate data capture.
  3. A software implementation project where functionality and features are run in parallel for a while. Once the software is released, you will know where many of the change-management efforts need to be focused. You will know what is the same and different about the product that you are implementing. 

Delivering quickly with agility is a MUST in today’s world. But don’t forget to have a few projects that are simmering. These projects will be a huge benefit and an easy win to enjoy in the future.