2017 Project Management Trends To Watch

Girl's Guide to PM

This year I’m looking forward into 2017 to highlight some of the project management trends I think it is worth watching out for. A positive benefit to this could be employers putting existing professionals through the Higher Project Management Apprenticeship scheme, upskilling them at virtually no cost (or at least, through funds already paid to the government in the form of the levy). Will 2017 be the year we get our first Chartered Project Professionals?

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How to Talk About Estimates

Herding Cats

What is an estimate? An estimate as a noun is an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity, or extent of something. An estimate as a verb is to roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of. But those estimates, nouns, and verbs themselves's have other attributes. Estimating and the resulting Estimates must be described by their accuracy and precision. Let's Stop Guessing and Start Estimating.

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What is an Estimate? What is Estimating?

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where estimates are made every single week. Estimate to Complete (ETC), Estimate at Completion (EAC), Estimated Completion Date (ECD) are the life blood of our software intensive system of systems programs. Since all projects operate in the presence of uncertainty, with the resulting risk - estimates are needed to make decisions that impact the future. This, of course, is nonsense, since estimates are about the past, present, and future.

Principles of Cost and Schedule Estimating

Herding Cats

One of the 4 summary root causes of project performance failures is Unrealistic Cost and Schedule Estimates based on inadequate risk-adjusted growth models. Those making these claims may have their own personal purposes, their own agenda, their own reasons for sell this idea that estimates are somehow no longer needed when we're spending other people's money to produce value in exchange for that money. One notion in a governance paradigm is It's Not Your Money .

Decisions Without Estimates?

Herding Cats

Can you make a decision without an estimate? There are NO means of making a credible decision in the presence of uncertainty without estimating the outcome of that decision. If you want to decide what's the probability of occurrence of some Epistemic uncertainty or the statistical processes for some aleatory activity you need to estimate. Don't assume, Estimate. How can you assess the strategy without making estimates of the impact of the outcome of the hypothesis?

Estimates, Forecasts, Projections

Herding Cats

Estimates. An Estimate is a value inferred for a population of values based on data collected from a sample of data from that population. The estimate can also be produced parametrically or through a simulation (Monte Carlo is common, but Method of Moments is another we use). . Estimates can be about the past, present, or future. We can estimate the number of clams in the Pleistocene era that are in the shale formations near our house. Estimate to Complete.

4 Fallacious Reasons to Estimate and Why Those Are Fallacious

Herding Cats

There's a recent post titled Four Fallacious Reasons to Estimate. It lists the usual suspects for why those spending the money think they don't have to estimate how much they plan to spend when they'll be done producing the value they've been assigned to produce for that expenditure. And like many posts and tweets about estimating, it's made from this point of view, not the business point view, not from the point of view of those paying the developer.

When to Estimate and When Estimates aren't Needed

Herding Cats

Paul Boos has a post about estimating and makes a case for the Principles of when NOT to estimate. This struck a cord around a bigger topic - the inversion of estimating. When should we NOT estimate? What business decision making conditions could be in place where we don't have to estimate the outcomes of our decision in the presence of uncertainty? Then on to the original conjecture for No Estimates from Paul's post. Not principles for NOT estimating.

GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide Applied to Agile

Herding Cats

The GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide has 12 steps. Agile Capabilities Decision Making Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Project Management Requirements Risk Root Cause Analysis SchedulingThese describe the increasing maturity of the project's artifacts. There are not specific to Agile Software Development. But here's how they are connected. Step . Agile. Capture All Activities.

How to Keep Your Projects On-Time and On-Budget

Arras People

companies and government agencies an estimated $145 billion per year! Deltek is the latest member of the Arras People Software Directory , in this article they give a brief overview of how projects can be controlled and how software can help with this. From internal initiatives to major customer endeavors, there’s a universal truth: all projects are susceptible to cost overruns and schedule slippage.

Budget 244

Behavioural Economics, Estimating, and Decision Making in Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The behavioral aspects of these decisions involve individuals, organizations, processes, procedures, and governance principles. . You're NOT going to increase the probability of success in the presence of uncertainty without making estimates of the aleatory and epistemic uncertainties the create project risk. Anyone telling you that you can make an informed and credible decision while spending other people's money without making estimates is selling you a pig in a pok e.†. †

A Brief Introduction to Project Portfolio Governance

Brightwork

A director of information services in one organization estimated that his department had 20 projects in flight. Situations like this are quite common in project management, making strong project portfolio governance essential. The rest of this blog will explore the importance of project portfolio governance in an organization, including a few ways a tool like BrightWork can help! What is Project Portfolio Governance?

Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities: What does a PM Really Do?

Project Bliss

Identifying activities, dependencies, sequencing, and time estimates. As the project manager, you may report to stakeholders, governance bodies, and anyone else who needs project information. The job title of “project manager” is pretty common these days. But project manager roles and responsibilities can be pretty vague if you’re not already familiar with them. I know this firsthand, just by watching reactions when I tell someone I’m a project manager.

2017 196

PRINCE2 Agile Training: Logical Model Online Training Review

Girl's Guide to PM

Other products offered by this training company: PRINCE2®, PMP Exam Prep, other online PM courses including How to Estimate, Recovery of Troubled Projects, Project Governance. Training Company: Logical Model. Product reviewed: PRINCE2® Agile Bundle (includes exam fee, self-paced online training, support and mock exam).

Improving portfolio management must be part of an agile transformation

Kiron Bondale

This makes it impossible to accurately estimate capacity during iteration planning and usually contributes to a team missing their iteration commitments resulting in delivery delays. If governance committees aren’t selecting the right projects which are in alignment with strategic objectives, and only kicking off as many projects as can be effectively staffed, it won’t matter how efficient, empowering or customer-centric the organization’s delivery practices are.

2017 138

Increasing the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

How to Avoid the "Yesterday's Weather" Estimating Problem. Capabilities Earned Value Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Principles Requirements Risk Root Cause Analysis Technical Performance MeasuresIncreasing the Probability of Project Success Simple in Theory, Complex in Practice. When we hear any suggestion about improving the probability of success of a project, there are some simple tests to confirm there actually is such a thing.

2017 69

The #1 Challenge in Project Management (According to the Experts)

MavenLink

The first step was to join forces with Aberdeen to release the recent report, “ 2017 Project Management Software Trends. Many organizations that we meet with think it is hard to align the business to the strategy and place governance to the process of project selection. The root cause often lies in two points: ineffective estimation at the start or poor project governance regarding changes.

2017 111

The Seven Deadly Sins of Project Management

Herding Cats

With some posts this week on tweeter about not needed project management or estimates to be the market leader (without says the market leader in what market), I thought it'd be good to revisit Mike's original post. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. NoEstimates Agile Business Decision Making Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Principles Project Management Requirements Root Cause Analysis Scheduling

Your Ultimate Guide To Portfolio Management Tools

Project-Management.pm

Financial Governance. Financial managers are in charge in this department where one of their responsibilities is to both estimate and manage existing funds within the organization. Portfolio Governance Management. Large projects call for complex processes and the need for more management procedures. When you tackle larger and more complex projects, the following management procedures need to be up to date and these are aided by tools, methodologies , and strategies.

2017 103

What is Project Portfolio Management : The Basics

Project-Management.pm

Portfolios are thus born to organize and prioritize projects and govern the resources and team within each of them. The purpose of establishing data that contains accurate information, as well as reliable content that includes forecasted or estimated cost, project name, timeframe, and expected returned value. They help estimate, monitor, and analyze performance, tasks, and even schedules for the purpose of convenience, cost estimation, and time conservation.

2017 111

Misunderstanding Making Decisions in the Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

What happens if you shift focus from "accurate estimation" to "reliably shipping by a date"? . If your project has no uncertainty, there is no need to estimate. The notion (as suggested in the quote) of shifting from accurate (what ever that means) ways of estimating to reliability shipping be a date is not physically possible since the irreducible and reducible uncertainties are always present. All estimates have precision and accuracy.

Agile Project Management Methods

Herding Cats

How estimates are or are not needed. Agile Books Capabilities Decision Making Deliverables Based Planning(r) Economics ERP Estimating Governance Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Principles Project Management Requirements Risk Systems TheoryThere is a lot of unsubstantiated claims going around about how agile should or should not be applied. How the team should or should not be managed.

2017 37

#Noestimates Has Come to This

Herding Cats

So the first part is following standard estimating principles. which states clearly and concisely that decisions can be made (in the presence of uncertainty - which is ALWAYS present on software development projects - without estimating the impact of those decisions. Past performance, reference classes, parametric models, Monte Carlo simulation, method of moments , and other estimating processes are standard practice. Does that mean we don't need estimating? .

2017 33

Building the "Perfect" Schedule

Herding Cats

Architecture Capabilities Decision Making Earned Value Estimating Governance IMP/IMS Management Planning Project Management Requirements Risk Root Cause Analysis Scheduling Systems TheoryI'm working on a presentation and discussion for the Joint Space Cost Council that is happening in September. Our topic is about the integration of multiple IPT (Integrated Product Teams) and how to coordinate all the work into an Integrated Master Schedule.

Increasing the Probability of Program Success

Herding Cats

We're working on a White Paper for the Joint Space Cost Council which is an organization composed of government (NRO, NASA, USAF, and others) and industry representatives with an interest in space. The origins of this paper came about at a recent JSCC meeting here in Boulder, with local Aerospace contractors, the DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) and several government agencies (NRO and NASA). Unrealistic Cost and Schedule Estimates. Estimating Processes.

The 10 Project Portfolio Management KPI To Adopt

Project-Management.pm

They measure and estimate cost, project duration, and ensure that the projects are where they are supposed to be but it doesn’t guarantee that it will solve all your problems. The following costs included in the planning stage of the project are estimated accurately through this project portfolio management KPI metric. But take note that this is more of an assumption than a fact—cost is still not safe from overshooting, so estimations are still needed.

2017 95

Project Success Means Knowing.

Herding Cats

In order to know the precision and accuracy needed to make decisions, in the presence of uncertainty, we must start with estimating what is possible, estimating the attributes and measures of the needed outcomes of the work activities, that produce the capabilities for the needed cost and schedule. Estimating what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers. Estimating what Plans and Schedules will be needed to reach done.

2017 39

Risk Management in Five Easy Pieces, with Apologies to Jack

Herding Cats

The answers to each of these questions require making estimates in the presence of uncertainty. No Point Estimate of Cost or Duration can be Correct. The use of point estimates for durations and costs is the first impulse in an organization low on the project management maturity scale. A common distribution of probabilistic estimates for cost and schedule random variables is the Triangle Distribution. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing.

2017 37

Why Having a Dataset "may" be Necessary but is Far from Sufficient to Support a Position

Herding Cats

You're bad at estimating - WHY? Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis. Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty. Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. NoEstimates Estimating Governance Logical Fallacies Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Principles Project Management

2017 34

The Magic 7 Project Portfolio Management Process Steps

Project-Management.pm

Measuring the budget allocation is the easier way to estimate the pipeline. For instance, if the organization has decided to funnel certain cost to a particular project in the next year or so, that project’s budget will then be estimated, provided that they are successful. The following resources must be carefully estimated so that they will be able to determine how many projects can fit in. Portfolio Governance Management.

2017 94

From Mission Capabilities to Done

Herding Cats

Measures of Performance (MOP) – characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions. And of course, since all projects operate in the presence of reducible and irreducible uncertainty, estimating the impact of decisions made along the way to Done must also be part of the process.

2017 35

Software Development for the 21st Century

Herding Cats

NoEstimates Agile Decision Making Estimating Governance Management Principles Project Management Root Cause AnalysisAlistair Cockburn's talk on 21st Century Software development. . Pay attention the hoax of #Noestimates and most major misunderstandings of the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principle.

2017 34

Principles of Project Success

Herding Cats

Information Technology Estimating Quality. Deliverables Based Planning(r) Estimating Governance IMP/IMS Management Performance-Based Project Management® PrinciplesProjects produce products, services, solutions. Projects deliver capabilities that fulfill Missions and Vision, Projects are a vehicle to accomplish and outcome. Every project should have a goal, an objective, and outcome. Projects in various domains have different practices and processes.

2017 37

The Flaw of Average (Mean) and Its Cousin Mode and Median

Herding Cats

Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing. NoEstimates Estimating Governance Management Mathematics Project Management SchedulingIt's become the mantra of some in agile development community recently to count stories and stop counting Story Points. Story Points are Ordinal numbers and have several flaws at their core. Let's start with Cardinal and Ordinal numbers. When we hear about adding Story Points, caution is needed.

2017 34

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates (cost and schedule) and other project attributes (cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. The BLUE bars are the probabilistic ranges of the current estimate date.

2017 33

Is Software Development Art or Engineering

Herding Cats

And of course estimating the effort and duration of SISoS is a critical success factor for any business providing products and services to this domain. All other activities need some form of thought process built around assessing the outcome of our decisions in the presence of uncertainty, and that of course requires we make estimates of the impacts of those decisions. . Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty.

There is Little New Under the Sun

Herding Cats

It is popular to claim we've never done this before, so how can we possibly estimate the cost and schedule. In that world, we still made estimates of the cost to design, build, and operate the experiment. As well we made estimates of what information will be produced after spending the customers (in most cases the government is the customer) money. Estimates are at the heart of all inventing new physics activities. 4] Principles of Program Governance.

2017 33

How To Secure Your PMO Profitability?

Project-Management.pm

PMO Profitability Problem #2: The PMO is a progeny of one or multiple executives who prefer to set visibility through governance, but not looking forward to long-term change. Cost estimates: Pinpointing whether the final budget is approximate to the initial or proposed budget. Schedule estimates: This is where you identify the duration of your project and if it’s almost the same or closer to the one you originally outlined in your plan.

PMO 78

Five Immutable Principles of Project Success

Herding Cats

Estimating how much is the starting point. Since all risks come from uncertainty, we have to estimate those uncertainties, their impacts, their residual risks after mitigation. Estimating is part of risk management. No Estimating? Capabilities Earned Value Estimating Governance IMP/IMS Management Performance-Based Project Management® Planning Principles Project Management Requirements Root Cause Analysis Scheduling Technical Performance Measures

2017 35

Misinterpretations of the Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Of late, Cone of Uncertainty has become the mantra of No Estimates advocates claiming that data is needed BEFORE the Cone is of any use. This fallacy comes from a collection of data that did not follow the needed and planned reduction of uncertainty for the cost estimates of a set of software development projects. . Reducing Estimation Uncertainty with Continuous Assessment: Tracking the “Cone of Uncertainty”, Pongtip Aroonvatanaporn, Chatchai Sinthop, Barry Boehm.

2017 32