Musings on Project Management

AGILE: mixing methods

Musings on Project Management

There comes a point where more planning can not remove the remaining uncertainty, instead execution must be used to provide data and remove uncertainty. This quote comes from a nicely argued case -- from the agile blog 'leading answers' -- for mixing agile methods in rather traditional businesses, like the oil and gas exploration/production business If ever there was a business that. agile

2021 163

When there's no Plan B

Musings on Project Management

If there's no Plan B, then the first rule is "Make Plan A work!"And And it might require that you be aggressive about making Plan A work. no fooling around.No Plan BWait! Isn't there always a Plan B somewhere?A A general officer once told me: If there's no Plan B, invent it!Insure Insure for failure?Maybe Maybe you can insure against the failure of Plan A. Perhaps that's your Plan B -- just get your money back, human factors risk Risk Management

2021 163
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Leading without risk

Musings on Project Management

Leading -- leadership -- without risk; without taking on risk?!It It can't be done.End of posting.Perhaps a bit more:To be a leader is to put yourself out front. exposed, as it wereAnd, out front you'll find there are no easy answers. If there were such, leadership would be more like management: Follow the rules; stay within the guides; take little personal risk to reputation and career; work for human factors leadership Risk Management

2021 163

Counter-party risk

Musings on Project Management

Define counter-party: In a transactional relationship, the other party to -- or participating in -- the transaction is your counter-party. In project situations, there are usually many counter-party transactional arrangements, such as contractors and suppliers with transactional relationships. And within the business there may be transactional relationships among business units and the PMO. Oh business analysis contract Risk Management

Risk 235

4 Approaches to Data Analytics

As the analytics landscape continues to evolve, application teams who need to embed dashboards, reports, and other analytics capabilities in their applications can choose from dozens of solutions. How do you differentiate one solution from the next?

The Principle of Calculated Risk

Musings on Project Management

"In carrying out the task assigned. you will be governed by the principle of calculated risk. which you shall interpret as avoidance of [risk] exposure. without good prospect. as a result of such exposure. of greater [benefit]" (*)Admiral Chester Nimitz to his subordinate admirals, Battle of Midway, June, 1942"You will be governed by the principle of calculated risk"What does. Risk Management

2021 199

Backlog blocked?

Musings on Project Management

Yikes! My backlog is blocked! How can this be? We're agile. or maybe we've become de-agiled. Can that happen? Ah yes, we're agile, but perhaps not everything in the portfolio is agile; indeed, perhaps not everything in the project is agile. In the event, coupling is the culprit. Coupling? Coupling is system engineering speak for transferring one effect onto another, or causing an effect by agile Risk Management system engineering

2021 163

Big words in risk management

Musings on Project Management

Sometimes, people use big words and I have to pause and look them up -- using an online dictionary, of course. Here's three of the biggies from the domain of risk management which are explained below with some examples: Knowledge errors and omissions: There's a project event coming up. The circumstances and factors for success are not really random. it's the knowledge base for the assumptions. Risk Management

2021 163

Plan v Objective

Musings on Project Management

"In war [projects] nothing goes according to plan, but always remember your objective" Israeli generalGood advice. And, of course, your objective always is -- or always should be: Apply your resources to maximize their value added while taking the least risk to do so.But our general's admonition begs the question: Is "nothing goes according to plan" the same as there's "no value in planning"? And Bayes estimate planning Project Management Project Value

Risking the team

Musings on Project Management

Are you on one of those death march projects about to burn out. Want some time off? Perhaps it's in the plan Formula solution Google among others -- Microsoft, etc -- are well known for the "time off, do. what you want toward self improvement and personnel innovation" model; formulas like that lend objectivity to the process (not playing. favorites, etc). Note: more on this in the "6x2x1". human factors Teamwork Virtual teams

2021 163

What is Contextual Analytics? The Next Evolution of Embedded Analytics

Download this whitepaper to learn what contextual analytics is, how BI platforms like Yellowfin revolutionize the way users discover insights from their data with native contextual analytics, and how it adds value to your software solution by elevating the user experience.

Some risks aren't manageable

Musings on Project Management

Ideas about extreme risk management have been around a long time. No news there, so let's press on. Here's a working definition: Extreme risks are those for which the consequences are nearly irreversible, and the impact is near-catastrophic.

Risk 238

Training budget for project robots?

Musings on Project Management

Are you busy building your project budget?Are Are you going to include a budget for training your project's working staff? New developer and testing tools; New frameworks; New process and workflow management?If If that's a Yes and Yes, have you thought about this? You may need to train your project robots also. Really?Really! Really! Robots, whether mechanical and real, or virtual, all depend on training data. AI cost management Project Management

Budget 163

Assessing risk

Musings on Project Management

Most of us -- that is, all but the few formally trained in risk assessment -- really suck at risk assessment, a necessary first step toward managing risk. Why so? Bias, for one thing. Confirmation bias being a biggie: we all want confirmation that our thinking, experiences, and instincts are right for the situation we find ourselves in. But, of course, we know objectively, even if not. Risk Management

Risk 163

Sequential vs Cumulative

Musings on Project Management

I'm a sequentialist.When planning a project, I think first about how to sequence the scope: do this first, then that. Or, do these things in parallel, followed by this or that.MS Project, and similar tools, are the sequentialists go-to tool for planning sequences and establishing the sequential order of the project. Not so fast!What What about cumulative, non-sequential, scope and effects?For For these, human factors planning Project Management

2020 163

How to Measure DevSecOps Progress and Ensure Success

Speaker: Shannon Lietz, Director of DevSecOps Team, Intuit

The new DevSecOps team is up and running, and you feel ready to take on rising security threats while delivering quality software updates. But that leaves just one question: how do you monitor your new program as effectively and efficiently as possible? Join Shannon Lietz, Director of DevsecOps at Intuit, and award-winning innovator, to learn the answers to these questions so you can lead your DevSecOps team to the top!

Risk management: what's to know?

Musings on Project Management

If you only know one thing about Risk Management, know this: Schedule slack is your most powerful tool Poorly developed instincts and skills in the use of this most powerful tool are leading causes of poor risk management If you are a Systems person a strategic thinker; an integrator; a "it all has to work" person -- you'll translate schedule slack into to "loose coupling" Loose. Risk Management system engineering

Risk 174

The biases come out

Musings on Project Management

Under stress, the biases come out Not only do the risks change, but risk attitudes change as well The stakes may be higher; the consequences greater. Now is the time to revisit the best book ever written on risk management -- in my opinion "Against the Gods, The remarkable story of Risk" by Peter L.

2020 230

A very short course in PM

Musings on Project Management

Take a look at this slideshare.net presentation for a very short course in project management Five tools for managing projects from John Goodpasture. Buy them at any online book retailer! Project Management

2021 163

Stage gates and Agile?

Musings on Project Management

Stage gates and Agile? To some, that might sound horrifying! Not exactly! One of my Agile Project Management students asked me about stage gates and agile. My first response was this: Agile is not a gated methodology, primarily because scope is viewed as emergent, and thus the idea of pre-determined gate criteria is inconsistent with progressive elaboration and emergence. Agile does. agile

Agile 237

2021 State of Analytics: Why Users Demand Better

As organizations become more data driven, their analytics requirements grow. Find out how knowledge workers use analytics and explore their needs and preferences.

What flavor is your scope creep?

Musings on Project Management

Can there be scope creep in Agile? Doesn't agile define creep away in a stroke: "Scope is whatever is prioritized in the backlog that fits within the budget (OPM, other people's money) and the time." "The The backlog changes all the time, but that's not creep, it's just backlog management."

2020 212

Eggs-to-basket ratio

Musings on Project Management

The oldest advice in risk management is this little ditty: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" It's obvious on its face: if you drop the one basket, you may lose all the eggs in just one accident. Why not carry two baskets, or three, or four, or how many. ? Well, what we're talking about here is diversifying the risk, and making the situation less fragile: that is more able to absorb. Risk Management

2021 163

Game theory in risk management

Musings on Project Management

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. Theodore Roosevelt Actually, that's Teddy's version of cousin FDR's famous "Try something!" But what if it's all about a threat -- something external -- for which you have no experience? Call in your PMO team and brainstorm? Perhaps game theory Risk Management

Risk 174

The Economics of Strategy

Musings on Project Management

A good blog read on this topic -- the Economics of Strategy -- is found at herdingcatswritten by Glen Alleman. In his posting, Alleman makes a couple of important points:There are many tactical actions that can be taken within a project -- like attention to risk management -- that ultimately have strategic outcomes for the business: enhanced profit on the income statement, sustainable free cash. customer Project Management Project Value

Business Monitoring Systems: Using ML to Analyze Metrics

This whitepaper discusses how automated business monitoring solutions like Yellowfin Signals revolutionize the way users discover critical and relevant insights from their data.

Guessing and Bayes

Musings on Project Management

In my posting prior to this one, I gave an example of two probabilities influencing yet a third. To do that, I assumed a probability for "A" and I assumed a probability for "B", both of which jointly influence "C". But, I gave no evidence that either of these assumptions was "calibrated" by prior experience.I just guessedWhat if I just guessed about "A" and "B" without any calibrated evidence to. Bayes estimate Risk Management Statistics

2020 163

The V&V thing.

Musings on Project Management

Have you thought much about this? Two of the conceptual conundrums of the hybrid agile-conventional methodology are: How do you verify that which is incomplete and. How do you validate the efficacy of that which is yet to be conceived? Verification and validation (V-and-V) are traditionally held to be very important project practices that to some may be difficult to map directly into the. agile Quality

2020 163

Schedule merge: the biggest hazard of all

Musings on Project Management

Do you understand the risk you are running when two events come to a merging point in your schedule?Here's Here's the situation:There's a series of tasks running along on one path, call it "A"There's another series of tasks, not dependent on "A", running along on path "B"But, all the events set to begin on path "C" can't begin until everything on paths "A" and "B" finish. In effect, the completion of. estimate Risk Management schedule Statistics

2020 163

Velocity!!

Musings on Project Management

"At every turn, leaders chose velocity and production over efficiency, thrift, safety, and even prudence" Ian Toll, HistorianWell, of course, Toll is describing the build-up in the western Pacific in the closing year of WW II. Most, but not all of us, will not have projects in which velocity is prioritized over safety.Most of us, but not all: In the last 20 years, such has been the case in not a. agile risk throughput

2020 163

Report by Dresner Advisory Services: Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study

According to the 2020 Dresner Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, embedded business intelligence is crucial for application success. This report explores the current state of BI and why application teams are increasingly choosing an embedded solution.

Risk management: hierarchy v. mesh

Musings on Project Management

Almost anyone who's been around projects for a few years has experienced hierarchy: it's like a pyramid, with one person at the apex and a number of layers spreading out below, interconnected, for the most part, top-down. On the other hand, another structure is like a mesh, wired for the most part peer-to-peer, and mostly flat -- few hierarchical titles and few top-down controls, and lots of. Risk Management

Risk 163

Critical path: who's in charge?

Musings on Project Management

You've got a job to do; you've sequenced and scheduled itBut, in the middle of your critical path there is another independent project (or task) over which you have no control. In effect, your schedule has a break in its sequence over which you have no influence.Yikes! This is all too common in construction projects where independent "trades" (meaning contractors with different skills, like. critical path Risk Management schedule

2020 163

Who said 'hybrid Agile'?

Musings on Project Management

What's the hybrid thing? It's agile coexisting in the same project with a traditional methodology, presumably for the swim lanes that are not software. Some call hybrid agile as: agile in the waterfall Are hybrids practical? After all, the traditional is top down planned, most requirements up front, much system testing at the end, etc. Agile is the not-traditional. Can you fashion a hybrid. agile

Agile 190

CPP and Technical debt -- history

Musings on Project Management

debt (n): that which is owedtechnical debt (n): unmet scope items owed for project completion The term "debt" as applied to projects has been promoted as part of Agile methods since at least the late 1990s, certainly more than a generation ago. As a matter of process, debt is added to backlog, and scheduled, according to priority, in sprints or iterations like all other scope is processed.But, Project Management

2020 163

How to Select an Embedded Analytics Product: 12 Criteria to Consider

This report is designed to help readers select an embedded analytics product. It provides 12 criteria to consider when evaluating embedded capabilities. It also comes with a companion spreadsheet that enables users to score and compare products along these 12 dimensions and others they may add.

Feeling the pressure

Musings on Project Management

" [The concern my some is] that with all good intentions, some project managers might start cutting corners. It's easily done. Don't be fooled by the trappings. This sort of success comes with a lot of pressure. There are deadlines, penalties, [finances], and [executive changes]. PMs] are stuck in the middle. Priorities can become murky. It would be natural for some to feel the pressure and Quality risk decision Risk Management

2020 163

Virtual agile teams?

Musings on Project Management

Somebody asked: can a virtual team do Agile? 20 years ago, at the dawn of Agile, the answer might have been no. 15 years ago, more less at the peak of the AOL texting app Instant Messenger and the dawn of the smart phone and smart-phone personal networking and conferencing, the answer might have been yes, but with reservations. Now, the answer is "Of course", with some adjustments. agile Virtual teams

Agile 174

Value flow

Musings on Project Management

About value (*)In many posts in this blog, I have established these propositions:That there is a distinction between project value and business value, and That the interests of the customer/user, sponsor/stakeholder, and project manager are to be balanced among these parties, even as they all compete for attention as value is developed. We recognize that:Each has their own needs and wants, Each. business analysis Project Value Strategic Plan

2020 163

Pyramid v Funnel

Musings on Project Management

In every book written about project management, the PMO is at the apex of a pyramid. Sometimes, as in Agile project methodology, the pyramid is flatter than most, but always there is an identifiable top figure. Fair enough. But Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary [and holder of many other government titles] writes that he often felt like the pyramid was inverted and thus took the look of a. Project Management

2020 174

Task Management For Project Managers

How can project planning that stretches over months or years remain relevant and account for new ad-hoc activities that arrive every day?