Project advances might be rare. However, you can take advantage of seeing the conditions to create your advance.
I'm at the Agile 2018 conference this week. Yesterday, I was scheduled to deliver my Agile and Lean Roadmapping talk at 10:45 am. However, the room was full 15 minutes in advance. I checked with the volunteers—yes, they had closed the room.
I turned on the mic and said, “The room is full. I'm starting.”
That's how people feel when you allow and encourage project advances.
You can create a project advance if you don't fill everyone/every team to 100% capacity. Notice in my case, I was not at 100% capacity—the room was. I was ready. The people in the room were ready. (The AC wasn't, but that's a different problem.)
Consider this kind of thinking for project advances:
- Understand where your bottlenecks are. If you have a bottleneck at capacity (here, room size), start work to remove that bottleneck. In my case, we started early. I was able to answer more questions at the end of the talk.
- Smooth the way for frictionless releases. In software, that means continuous integration along with automated builds, tests, and releasing. (You might not be able to release externally every day. You can release internally every day.)
- The more you use flow efficiency to collaborate as a team, the more you can create project advances. That's because one person doesn't hold up the rest of the people.
In a sense, a conference is a serial-kind of project. We don't move sessions around. We don't change how people deliver their talks/workshops.
However, inside a session, we have the flexibility to use the time to our advantage. Some people chose to leave when I started to answer questions. Many people stayed and some of the most-tweeted quotes came from the Q&A. (I keep wondering if I should propose a Q&A maybe with chocolate session. Hehe.)
In knowledge-work projects, we can take advantage of project advances. Maybe you can see how to create a project advance today.