Red and green buttons – The 200 words project

Here’s this week’s 200 word idea from Seth’s blog

Seth Godin was leading a team of forty people building a complex series of products which had to ship before Christmas. The stakes were high – if they missed by even one day, the entire company was going to fold. They approached it by doing an analysis of the “critical path” and quickly realized that it was a relay race and right now, there was one team carrying the baton.

So, Seth went out and got some buttons – green and red. The deal was simple: if you were on the critical path, you wore a green button. Everyone else wore red. When a red button met a green button, a simple question was asked, “how can I help?” The President would get coffee for the illustrator if it saved the illustrator three minutes. In other words, the red button people never (ever) get to pull rank or interrupt a green button person.

 An understanding of the critical path and an early urgency ensured they made it. As Seth says – “Rush early, not late. It’s cheaper that way, and better for your peace of mind, too.”


Source and thanks to:

‘Once you’re aware of who’s on the path, you understand the following: delaying the critical path by one hour at the beginning of the project is the very same thing as delaying the entire project by an hour at the very end. ‘ | Seth Godin