Musings on Project Management

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

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

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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

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

Are Your Embedded Analytics DevOps-Friendly?

Does your analytics solution work with your current tech stack and DevOps practices? If not, any update to the analytics could increase deployment complexity and become difficult to maintain. Learn the 5 elements of a DevOps-friendly embedded analytics solution.

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

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

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

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

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

How Embedding AI-Powered Analytics Can Give You a Competitive Advantage

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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

Be Bold; be brave; be calculating

Musings on Project Management

I would hardly think today of making my first flight on a strange machine in a 27-mile wind. I look with amazement upon our audacity in attempting flights with a new and untried machine under such circumstances. Yet faith in our calculations and the design of the first machine, based upon our tables of air pressures, secured by months of careful laboratory work, and confidence in our system. Innovation Quotations risk decision Risk Management

2020 163

Smart and Not-so-Smart

Musings on Project Management

Harry’s poker-playing friend claimed that probability theory, and how to play your cards according to the rule book, was the easiest thing in the world. But what separated smart players from the not-so-smart was the ability to understand how their opponent was thinking.Harry Hole, Detective, according to author Jo Nesbo Now, in project terms, we would like to think we don't have to worry about game theory planning Project Management

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

6 Steps to Improving Your Application’s Analytics Experience

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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

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

Looking for the unique

Musings on Project Management

"When I plan a project, the first thing I do is make a list of what's unique . what will my new and untried experiences be for myself and my team, and what's new for the customer: will they see the value?" Not actually me, but others whom I respect say this It strikes me that what is said above is just common sense; profound in its plainspoken words But, then what? Having identified the Project Value Risk Management

2020 163

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

How to Choose the Best Embedded Analytics Solution to Modernize Your Application

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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. And, fortunately, in most cases, the likelihood of the event is low. Because the expected value is nearly zero, but the threat so high, people are. Risk Management

Risk 183

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

The oldest technique in risk management

Musings on Project Management

The oldest technique in the book, indeed before there were even books, is "acceptance" To drive a car is to accept the risk that the other driver isn't too drunk, too sleepy, too unskilled, too distracted, too whatever To take on debt is to accept the risk that you'll have the means to repay without bankrupting yourself To take on unsecured credit is to accept the risk (trust, really) that. Risk Management

Risk 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

4 Approaches to Data Analytics for Your Application

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Changing the culture

Musings on Project Management

To change culture. you have to have continuous training, systems of accountability, and consequences. Scott Thomson It's hard to argue with the formula; in fact, no argument taken However, perhaps Mr Thomson assumed the obvious: you have to have a vision of the future state of culture in order to orient and align training to that vision. And, there are always errors of alignment. human factors

2020 163

Don't ask for data if.

Musings on Project Management

The first rule of data: Don't ask for data if you don't know what you are going to do with it Or, said another way (same rule) Don't ask for data which you can not use or act upon And, your reaction might be: Of course! But, alas, in the PMO there are too many incidents of reports, data accumulation, measurements, etc for which there actually is no plan for what to do with it. Project Management

2020 163

The collision of risk and politics

Musings on Project Management

There have been a lot of very high profile examples that demonstrate what seems like the evitable progression of the collision of risk and politics. The narrative seems to always fit this frame: Conventional risk management processes identify a risky situation and assess the unfavorable outcomes Mitigations are designed and briefed up the chain Such mitigations are immediately clamped from. Risk Management

Risk 174

State of the practice: Agile

Musings on Project Management

I was looking back at some prior essays on Agile and came across the April 2012 PMNetwork magazine. Specifically I was attracted (again) to page 58 for an interview with some agilists on the state of the practice. Here are a couple of quotes from Jim Highsmith worth tucking away: Agile project management embraces both “doing” agile and “being” agile—and the latter is the hardest. agile

2012 163

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?

Value system as a business doctrine

Musings on Project Management

Consider, if you will, this value system arranged as a Belief and an Operating Principle, adapted from "Maximizing Project Value" Chapter 1 (one of my books): Quality is free: We value doing the right job (value adding) in the right way (training and skill development) the first time (correct systemic errors). There is no substitute for ethical, honest, and transparent transactions: As. Project Value

2020 163

Job done?

Musings on Project Management

Agile Principle 5: Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. Trust them to get the job done. What job? Is it the job described in the business plan and in subsequent project plans, albeit lean plans consistent with the Agile Manifesto? Is it the job that has been estimated and scheduled? Is it the job. agile

2019 163

Can you beat a checklist?

Musings on Project Management

Can anyone image doing serious risk management without a checklist? The answer, of course, is No. or, it should be!) Actually, any procedural management can benefit from a checklist. There's been whole books written about checklists. In fact, one of the more prominent books -- "The Checklist Manefesto" by Dr. A. Gawande -- entitles Chapter 1: "The Problem of Extreme Complexity", Project Management

2019 243

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." What I just wrote is a "best value" definition of scope. But, sometimes it just doesn't sell. agile

2020 163

The Rise of Embedded Self-Service Analytics

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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. Bernstein is an excellent read and ambitious premise well delivered. Perhaps the best. Risk Management

2020 177

There's a new tension in town.

Musings on Project Management

There's a new tension in town. Remote v Local 30M+ Americans have jobs and are working from home (the Remotes) 60M+ Americans can't work from home (the Locals), and 50% of them may not have jobs. If that's not enough to amp the tension between the haves and have-nots, then consider the risk management regime of each: The Remotes have a much lower risk environment from Covid-19, but also. human factors Project Management

2020 163

Risk un-management

Musings on Project Management

Risk un-management? Perhaps the largest task within risk management, and requiring the greatest judgment, is "risk un-management" On any project there are going to be dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unmanaged risks. These comprise the population to be un-managed. I doubt this is news to anyone, but these are, as a group, more numerous than those selected for the usual risk management paradigm. Risk Management

Risk 197

Two doors: risk and decision managers

Musings on Project Management

A narrative* Imagine two doors to the same room: One labeled risk manager; the other labeled decision maker. Though the risk manager's door, entry is for the inductive thinker: facts, experience, history looking for a generality or integrating narrative Through the decision maker's door, entry is for the deductive thinker: visionary with a need to articulate specifics for the vision Risk Management

Risk 207

Managing The Project Budget - Developing Your Project Management Skills

This eBook describes the process of managing the project budget and its associated costs.