7 Hour Rule of Project Management for Work Life Balance

How many productive hours do you expect your people to work in a day? Rather, how many required hours do the person has to work? This depends on the labor law of the country but for my insight I will use the standard 8 hours we have from where I come from.
While productive hours and required hours should ideally be the same, there are lots of factors that could hinder the person from rendering a full 8 hours of productivity and these includes restroom breaks, small chats with superiors, brainstorming, phone calls, etc. which hit the total productive hours the person can accomplish for the day without overtimes.

On with the 7 hour rule
Having said that, managers or team leads drafting timelines should always create work plan and timelines based on the 7 hour rule, meaning their tasks could be accomplished within a 7 hour a day workload. By keeping this rule you ensure your project have a one hour buffer for stuffs that could eat up timelines outside personal matters (as mentioned above) like getting stuck in problem solving situations, miscommunication or misunderstanding, etc.
While it may seem that clients or employers are being shortchanged because they have to pay a full 8 hours of 7 hour work, the end result should justify the means. A good manager knows that extending teams more than they should will have diminishing returns along the rode which would impact the quality and overall delivery of projects. Using the 7 hour rule, timelines are guarded by an acceptable 12.5 % buffer which would save you and your teams’ integrity and accomplishments while continuously exceeding stakeholder’s expectations.
Implications of overtime
Creating timelines that automatically extend your people’s working hours in a day, and rendering continuous overtime work is not good project management, especially when balance of life and work should be valued by the company. A high performer should have the necessary balance to progressively deliver quality output rather than sink in a diminishing return mode.
When to use the rule
However, the importance of implementing this rule depends on the tasks of the team which is higher and makes more sense where output is determined by skill like creative artwork, programming, architectural design, etc. rather than routine tasks like plotting of project status, or consolidation of reports, etc.
When and when not to use the 7 hour rule is a skill that managers and team leads should learn and improve on as they move from one timeline to another.
[tags]Career, Success, Project Management[/tags]

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