I am playing in a Spell Bound Kingdoms game and our GM has introduced clocks after reading Blades in the Dark. We have multiple clocks going for different parts of the plot line.
I too do PM amongst other things, so lets see if I can put it in those terms.
Think of each clock as a work package within your project and then think of each segment within the clock as a control gate. Each time the characters (or the NPCs) make signficant progress towards a goal then they move to the next control gate. At that point the character can decide:
- to continue, or;
- that the reasource cost, scope or reason for doing the development no longer meets the parameters and either change the details of what they are doing, which would change the segments of the clock, or;
- cancel their activity, which would give up the resources so far used to be repurposed to a new design or make those resources a sunk cost.
There really isn't much more to it than that. as Derk has said they are just a useful way to visualise a task and the degree of complexity.
Hope that helps