X-Y Algorithm for Startup’s. 101 for Project Management


February 13, 2011 by Rupesh

X-Y Algorithm for Startup’s. 101 for Project Management

Since Long I have been thinking of writing a blog to share my experiences of being a chicken entrepreneur. Mainly because a startup is like a pandora box of experiences. Experiences of all sort. I personally encounter a ‘New’ Learning everyday and most of them are non-trivial. Mine are more frequent as InOpen is a early stage startup. I intend to share them through this blog. Daily Experiences of my entrepreneurial Life.

Startup are mostly chaotic high productivity places. Mine is a 300 sqft area cramped up with 30 of my best people. In a early stage Startup, Everyone is doing something and all these somethings are important, isn’t it ? I personally feel the main problem in such kind of situation for a Founder is to establish a correct project management . Founders are like ‘Man 0n mission’ who breathe and think about their startups 24×7. They do have broader perspective of things but very few are masters of project management. Every Task for Founders are Important and Urgent, and same emotions are subsequently passed to Team hence the chaos. So let me share a simple algorithm introduced to me by partner – co-founder of InOpen Dr. Iyer . Its plain and simple with no fancy CMS requirements.

It is called X-Y algorithm. 101 for Project Management

X-by-Y protocol , where X is a task to be completed and Y is the date by which it is to be completed. It is not trivial, so ignore this at your own risk!

The detailed steps of X-by-Y are as described below:

Consider a task to be done X, a deadline Y, and 2 persons, A and B. Typically A would be the Manager, and B the person reporting to her/him.

1. A assigns task X to B. A may or may not specify the deadline Y.
2. If Y is not specified, B has to ask A for this date.

3. B has to evaluate whether it is possible to complete X-by-Y.
4. If not, B *MUST* inform A at the earliest and request for a new Y’.

5. If B completes X-by-Y (always), B gets a bonus (not money, but maybe a book or anything).

6. If B does not complete X-by-Y, but B meets A one day before Y,explains the problem and gets an extension to Y’, it is still fine.However, in this case there is no bonus (but no penalty either).

7. If B does not complete X-by-Y, and does not meet A either, B has to pay a penalty. It may happen that A remembers only on date Z that ‘I had assigned X to B’. Now B has to pay the penalty corresponding to the number of days (Z-Y). The penalty may be either (i) B will be marked absent for (Z-Y) days, or (ii) B donates half the salary for (Z-Y) days towards the group picnic! iii) or something equivalent

8. A informs your startup’s HR about what is the penalty imposed. HR keeps track and collects cash from B. HR will send a report each month (while sending attendance) about amounts collected, and employees will have a party!

Please modify algo as per your startup and introduce some sanity


One thought on “X-Y Algorithm for Startup’s. 101 for Project Management

  1. Interesting! We had similar thing in our school. Fine for coming late which funded annual party.

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