Musings on Project Management

The only two things you need to know about statistics

Musings on Project Management

Number One: It's a bell, unless it's not For nearly all of us when approaching something statistical, we imagine the bell-shape distribution right away. And, we know the average outcome is the value at the peak of the curve. Why is it so useful that it's the default go-to? Because many, if not.

2021 344

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

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Ghost writer and communicator

Musings on Project Management

So, you work in project communications, perhaps directly for the PM. Great job, and it can be a lot of fun being creative.In the 'old days', that probably meant long-form press releases and updates to the project web page or communications dashboard.Today, it's those plus social media; scripts and plans for podcasts and videos; and other duties as assigned (ODAS)But, if you're a ghost writer for. communication

2021 163

The worst error in scheduling

Musings on Project Management

The worst error in scheduling is to have a milestone depend upon two or more tasks scheduled (planned) to finish at the same time.Here's a footnote to that witticism: It's assumed the two tasks are independent, meaning:They don't share resourcesThey don't have the same vulnerabilities to a common riskThe progress, or not, in one does not affect progress in the otherSo, what's the big error here? schedule

2021 195

Bridging the Online and Offline: How to Apply Product Thinking to Expanding Your eCommerce Business

Speaker: John Cutler, Product Evangelist and Coach at Amplitude

In a post-COVID world, online retailers are forced to reevaluate their position and address the challenge of adopting new customer experiences. Even brick and mortar businesses are integrating more digital approaches to CX -- testing out loyalty programs and subscription-based models. Join John Cutler, Product Evangelist and Coach at Amplitude, for this enlightening discussion on the current state of the ecommerce landscape.

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 264

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 188

Sketching out the architecture

Musings on Project Management

I was recently directed toward an interesting site (blog, presentations, etc) by Simon Brown, and his download presentation about "sketching the architecture" that more or less reinforces my idea that: "If you can't draw it, you can't build it." Box modelFrom this idea flows my "box model" approach to setting down high level narrative (business story with context), major functions (boxes) and. agile architecture system engineering

2021 163

The Requisite Law of Variety

Musings on Project Management

Now, this could be a bit stuffy, but it's actually quite readable: "The Requisite Law of Variety" Reduced for a quick understanding, 'the Law' is an interesting concept to consider, to wit: Essential Elements (E): these are outcomes, results, or other artifacts that you want to have some control over; or they are controls and mechanisms that you have to influence outcomes and results and. Project Management risk value

2021 163

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 329

Post-Pandemic eCommerce Growth: Leverage Product Data, Market Research & Shopping Trends

Speaker: Phil Irvine, VP & Director of Audience Intelligence

This session will dive into how organizations can still leverage historical customer and product data but need to also think about how to augment development of strategies with marketing research and other shopper signals to efficient drive e-Commerce growth. Join Phil Irvine, VP & Director of Audience Intelligence, for this in-depth discussion of the current e-commerce landscape. Whether concerned about data privacy and data management, or curious about how businesses can rethink approaches to designing shopping experiences, the answers are here.

Which comes first. A or B?

Musings on Project Management

This is not about the A/B argument in Agile methods. This is about get the elements of project scope sequenced in the right time order Does "A" come before "B", or not, and Is there a dependency between "A" and "B"? If not, then the sequencing question may be moot. If they are truly independent, then they can be scheduled for convenience, or according to some other dependency, "C" But if the "A" schedule

2021 163

Can you spend $1M in a month?

Musings on Project Management

Here's the challenge: On your project, can you spend $1M in a month?Take Take a minute and think about it.Consider:If you've got 100 people with an annual payroll of $15M, then yes, it's possible, even likelyIf you've got 20 people with an annual payroll of $3M, then maybe, with overtime and some material charges.Got your answer?Good! Then here's another challenge: If you can spend $1M in a month, can estimate

2021 163

Let it be mensurable!

Musings on Project Management

To be mensurable is to be MeasurableCalculableEstimableDeterminableAnd, why do we care?Enter: Enter: risk managementTo compare two dissimilar risks violates the rule that risks to be compared must be similarly mensurable.In a recent post, Matthew Squair, writing at 'critical uncertainties' makes the point that early on.(and and I quote Squair)". lockdown sceptics were pointing out that your risk of. Risk Management

2021 163

The first rule of data

Musings on Project Management

You can't have too much data. correct?Actually, Actually, not correct.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! The data plan You may be shocked to learn that often there is no data plan! My experience: In the PMO there. data management Project Management

2021 174

From Planning to Results, How to Choose a Tool to Manage Marketing Projects

With increased channels, tools, and pressure to achieve goals, your work management platform must be able to: Manage complex projects within tight time frames, Harness data from all channels to make decisions in real time, Prove ROI to the broader business. Download the eBook today!

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

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

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

Risk 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

2021 Dresner Advisory Services Business Intelligence Market Study

Every year Dresner reviews the state of the BI market as it stands today. This 12th annual report breaks down customer perceptions of BI and how well each vendor performs. See for yourself how all the major BI vendors stack up.

The funnel and the pyramid!

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. leadership pmo

2021 163

Agile means.

Musings on Project Management

Agile means: ‘Agile’ means small teams, working collectively and collaboratively, with this mission: To deliver frequent, incremental releases of innovative functions and features, prioritized for need and affordability;Evolved iteratively from a vision according to user reflection and feedback; And produced at the best possible value.(*) Agile ideas to keep in mind Requirements are too. agile

2021 163

Do you trust the other side of the transaction?

Musings on Project Management

The other side: the 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. human factors Risk Management Strategy

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

Risk 163

Insiders' Guide to Self-Service Analytics

Self-service analytics are vital for how your users interact and engage with your application. As you explore analytics solutions for your application, see why self-service analytics can prove critical to the adoption and stickiness of your application.

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

Trust, but not trusting

Musings on Project Management

"They say" that trust is essential to any project team working effectively. To not trust is to layer on ineffective and non-value add efforts at surveillance, double checking, micro-management, etc and so on.Yet, nearly all projects of any significant scope are organized hierarchically:Some one is in chargeOthers "report to."Rules Rules are a tool; they can substitute for face-to-face. human factors Teamwork

2021 163

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

Analytics Best Practices: 5 Key Dashboard Design Principles

Explore 5 key principles that exist to ensure you create a relevant dashboard that guides and simplifies the user experience, makes it as easy as possible to interpret what is presented no matter its complexity, and increases the adoption of BI.

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

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

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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

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

Why Operational Reporting is Still Critical in Modern BI

In a world full of new features, traditional reporting is still a critical requirement for businesses. Read further to understand the reasons behind its lasting relevance and why it should continue to be an integral part of modern analytics solutions.

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

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

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

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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

What is Data Storytelling? The Value of Context and Narrative

This beginner’s guide explains what data storytelling means for your company’s business intelligence and data analytics, the importance of leveraging it today, and how Yellowfin’s own set of storytelling tools can enrich your insight reporting efforts.