Disorganization is a common problem and there are many things that can be done to help with the problem, but that isn’t what I am going to talk about today. I want to talk about how your disorganization can causes others to fail. Take for example this past week, I was talking to a business friend, Zack, about how his new web development job was going. He told me his is looking for a new job already because the head developer has already caused the team to lose a bonus. They failed to meet a deadline they should have been able to make. Apparently, this sort of thing happens a little too often according Zack’s co-workers. Zack went on to explain some of the issues; required features for an application will be forgotten about because they weren’t put into the scope of work by the head developer. Projects will get off track because the head developer will lose the scope of work documents or will forget about a project feature until a week before the deadline. Zack went on and on but all the problems lead back to one thing, the head developer’s lack of organization and time management.

In Zack’s case, the project took an extra month. He estimated the company lost about $150,000 on this last project. Factored in:

  • Developer’s Time
  • Lost Sales for a month.
  • Sales & Customer Service Training for the new product – and retaining
  • Next project’s time table pushed back an month.

Grant it, the $150,000 is just a guess and probably really conservative, but it illustrates a point. The head developer failed to manage himself and his team properly which snow balled into problems throughout the company.

Let’s take a deeper look about how a project can snowball. For example, let’s say Steven is waiting on me to finish a scope of work. I miss the deadline by one day. I now have put Steven behind ten days because he moved onto another project. He starts my project on the 10th instead of the 1st. Which puts Quality Assurance behind five days because they are now “Quality Assurance-ing” the project Steven just did. Since QA is behind, Sales and Customer Service are ten days behind. Because I missed a deadline, the project that was suppose to be done on the 1st of May is now done on the 1st of June. Taking a step back, I caused one person and three departments to fail.

Being organized comes in many forms, time management, office space, your own head space, to name a few. If one is our of sync it can cause problems for you and everyone else. I know we all can’t be organized all the time, but being aware that our own disorganization can cause others to fail might keep us a bit more on track when we look at the bigger picture.