Interview with Curt Finch – Valuing time as a business resource – Interview

All Your Money Will Be Well
Curt Finch, CEO at Journyx, Inc., recently published a book titled “All your Money Won’t another Minute Buy – Valuing time as a Business Resource.” Curt Finch is a time management expert. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview him about the book. Enjoy the interview below and, if you like what is shown, you can purchase the book through PM Bookstore. Josh: Chapter 3 “Managing Project Risk” discusses time tracking as a tool to manage project risk. How can time tracking software be most effectively used to detect risk early? How can data be used to formulate strategies to address the identified risks?
Curt: The most obvious thing to do is track time on projects (which is much less common than you might think).
Curt Finch
Think in companies of all sizes. This gives you an early warning system when things might be running out of control. Projects are usually divided into tasks or phases. If the initial estimates are incorrect, then later phases may take longer. It is rare for people to “catch up” in later phases. The idea of compressing later stages is often a wishful thinking. If you have a five-phase project that is estimated at 100 hours per stage and the first phase takes 150 hours, you can push the schedule out, add resources, and do whatever else is necessary to ensure on-time delivery.
Josh: In chapter 4, “Instituting a vacation policy”, you discuss the importance and wisdom of managing PTO. I agree with the points (1) that employees should not be paid accrued PTO, and (2) that PTO should and could be more generous if you manage your time well. What are your views on policies relating to how far in advance time off is scheduled, and the impact on projects/coverage?Curt: You know, I don’t have a good answer for that. Managers of critical projects have demanded that employees take no vacation until the project is back on track. This can lead to your best people leaving in a world where everyone is a volunteer, and there are many other employment options. Asking employees to schedule vacations at least a month in advance, perhaps asking for longer lead times for longer vacations, seems reasonable and would allow better planning. You can monitor and even enforce such behavior with automated systems like Journyx.
People need to take time off. The company also has needs. As with all things, I believe that balance is necessary.
Josh: In chapter 7, “More with Less” you discuss the decision to choose an accounting platform. One of the most common problems I see in many companies is one that they don’t even realize they have. Better time management can help to identify and fix this problem. Ignoring the choice of software, managers must make daily decisions about build vs. purchase. They tend to favor the build side. Why? It’s because they don’t value the time of their employees enough to make informed decisions. People underestimate the amount work required for projects that are not within their core competencies. Please share your thoughts about the importance of time management in determining whether a company should make daily buy or build decisions. It would be great to see a real-world example where a company is not managing their time well and one who is. They are likely caused by many factors.
? Employers view employees as free. Employers believe that employees are free.

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