Importance of Punctuality and Core HoursMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
Discipline is a mandatory part of professional growth in stature, especially in Project Management. As a Project Manager, it is part of my job not only to adopt discipline in my professional life but also to translate the same into my team as well.
In order to follow your team, there should be clearly defined ground rules and they should be equally applicable to all. The team should be aware of what is exactly required and how to follow rules. I am always a big fan of the use of a scoring system to determine performance and to monitor progress. Same sort of concept I have discussed in my article “The Number Game”.
For my performance measurement matrix, discipline is one of the major categories and also has weightage in a similar proportion. The resources I work with are mostly very good in their respective domains but they need to be aligned properly to maximize the output.
Punctuality is an important part of the discipline. There are two major aspects of punctuality; the first is that the resources should not be late to join office or start their day as per the official time. Secondly, they would not be too early before the designated time either. The first one makes sense but why not early? Performance Management experts will agree with me on the concept that a resource is too early in the office, there are chances that he/she will waste time as most of the other colleagues will be joining later and there is no interaction which is important.
Another consideration in my Performance Measurement Matrix, in terms of discipline, is the total hours spent in the office. These hours are different from Planned or Actual hours. For example, if each resource has to work for 8 hours per day, then time spent less than that should be determined in the score. Leaving early, every now and then, won’t really hurt the score but the habitual offenders will be highlighted. Similarly, those putting in the extra effort will also be highlighted and might be even rewarded for their efforts as well.
Another important part of the Performance Measurement Matrix is the “Core Hours”. Core Hours means some part of your daily time, like 3 to 4 hours, when every team member should be available. This concept is very important for teams working in distributed model and in different time zones, The Core hours helps to build an understanding for every stakeholder that when everyone will be available to conduct any activity where all or most of the team members are required to participate.
There is even a discussion, regarding Core Hours, that management experts around the world believe that working 4 hours per day effectively can maximize the performance. A similar kind of discussion can be found in the book “The 4-Hour Work Week”, in which the author has highlighted how he enjoys life to the full by organizing all his work in 4 hours work week.