Time Picture

For those affected by this initiative, it inevitably requires that calendar time adjustments are essential. This implies that some previous tasks need to be either shrunk or eliminated to make room for new tasks. The time picture exercise is a creative and fun way to identify changes necessary to accommodate the necessary changes.

time-picture

Steps:

  1. Have everyone draw a square on a blank piece of paper. Explain that inside the square represents the official 40 hour work week — outside the square represents outside the official work hours.
  2. Give each person about 5 minutes quiet time and have them draw a picture of where they’ve spent their time over the past year (or since starting a new job). The bigger the circle, the more time they’ve spent in a particular area. The more the circle spills outside the square, the more time that is spent outside the normal working hours.
  3. Have everyone share with the entire group or in small groups — which ever makes more sense.
  4. Have each person draw another picture of where they need to be spending their time over the next 6 months(or during the duration of their project or job). Also have them identify what needs to change to transition from where they’ve been spending their time to where they need to be spending their time.
  5. Have everyone share with the entire group or in small groups — which ever makes more sense.

Tips:

This exercise is usually done in two separate phases. Do steps 1 – 3 before scoping the project. After the team has a good idea of the effort it that will be necessary, then have the team do steps 4 – 5.