Project Management, Performance Measures, and Statistical Decision Making

Herding Cats

There is a current rash of suggestions on how to improve the performance of software projects. Figure 1 - Planned Estimates versus Actual Performance from [1]. Each of these, while well meaning, are missing the means to confirm their credibility.

Project Versus Product in Agile Development

Herding Cats

This quote is typically the basis of proposing agile software development over traditional software development. What Does This Mean for Agile? . Agile shouldn't care. Agile produces useful working software at the end of every Sprint.

Agile 54

Value First, Requires Margin and Contingency

Herding Cats

There's a popular notion in Agile that says Focus on Value. NoEstimates Agile Decision Making Estimating Governance Planning Principles Scheduling Technical Performance Measures

2018 52

INVEST, Scrum and Enterprise IT

Herding Cats

So when you hear an agile purest talking about the I in Invest, ask is there is any business process loops, interdependencies between systems compoenents, externalities. Cohesion is the measure of how well module fits together. The component may be performing more than one function.


From Mission Capabilities to Done

Herding Cats

No matter the project domain or the technical development method, project success is dependent on knowing what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision maker. These measures are stated in units, meaningful to the buyer.

Increasing the Probability of Program Success

Herding Cats

Top Four Sources of Unfavorable Program Performance. Unrealistic Performance Expectations. Impacts of Risk on Program Performance. Be Clear About What the System is to Do in Units of Measure Meaningful to the Decision Makers.

4 Fallacious Reasons to Estimate and Why Those Are Fallacious

Herding Cats

I need an estimate because… I need to measure productivity. Although I understand measuring productivity could work well for repeatable activities, it's hard to believe it works well for abstract and, ultimately, non-repeatable tasks like software development.

Cone of Uncertainty Bibliography

Herding Cats

I work in a domain where the CoU is baked into the Integrated Program Performance Management (IPPM) processes flowed down from the buyer, in this case, the Federal Government. The CoU paradigm defines the needed reduction in uncertainty is some performance metric.

2014 43

Misinterpretations of the Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The Cone of Uncertainty as a Technical Performance Measure. Active reduction requires we have a desired reduction goal, perform the work, and measure progress toward the rduction goal. Closed Loop Control, has a goal, an action, a measurement, and a corrective action.

Principles, Processes, and Practices of Project Success

Herding Cats

What does Done look like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers? What impediments will be encountered along the way to Done and what work must be performed to handle these impediments? What are the units of measures of progress to plan for each deliverable?

Cancelling Projects: The Project Isn't Being Done Right

Project Health Check

A classic way to consider project performance is via the triple constraint of scope/cost/time, often with quality thrown in the mix. In part 1 of this article series, we accepted that Projects sometimes need to be cancelled.

2017 184

Next Generation Project Management Software

Girl's Guide to PM

Project management practitioners are looking for new lean and agile project management tools to support their day-to-day work and often seek them outside the tools that their organisations offer them. Digitalization and Collaboration.

How to Delegate Tasks With More Confidence and Less Stress

Girl's Guide to PM

As recipient of the delegation you have a duty to: Confirm the performance criteria are mutually understood and agreed. Be Clear on Requirements and Confirm Performance Criteria. Requirements matched to agreed performance measurement criteria are a pair (or the same thing stated twice).

2018 274

Assessing Value Produced in Exchange for the Cost to Produce the Value

Herding Cats

A common assertion in the Agile community is we focus on Value over Cost. A target Value must be measured in units meaningful to the decision makers. Measures of Effectiveness and Performance that can monetized this Value.

2016 54

Value and the Needed Units of Measure to Make Decisions

Herding Cats

For some reason the notion if value is a big mystery in the agile community. Many blogs, tweets, books are spent of speaking about Value as the priority in agile software development. MOE's are stated in units of measure meaningful to the buyer.

2016 54

Is Macroeconomics and Social Science the Same as Software Development?

Herding Cats

There a popular notions in the agile development world that authors like Hayek and Taleb speak to how software development works. You Can’t Understand Agile Without Understanding Hayek. In our domain this is the Performance Measurement Baseline, which is a time-phased budget plan for accomplishing work against which contract performance is measured. Product Roadmaps, Release Plans are core principles of Agile.

Closed Loop Control and Granularity of the Estimating Process

Herding Cats

For software, this can be value produced (assuming we have a unit of measure for that value in the for of effectiveness, performance, key performance parameters, or technical performance measures ). For your Honeywell or Nest controller on the wall, that sample rate is measured in seconds. It can be the cost, schedule, and technical performance measures of the software project.

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). The Cone is NOT the result of the project's past performance. Agile 2008 Conference. [18]

2005 45

What is an Estimate? What is Estimating?

Herding Cats

There are several partitions of this information that are common in building the Performance Measurement Baseline (PMB). In Agile the Product Roadmap and Release Plan are the basis of the PMB. I work in a domain where estimates are made every single week.

Microeconomics and Risk Management in Decision Making for Software Development

Herding Cats

By the way, the pure conjecture that agile enables late changing requirements to not have a significant impact on the cost and schedule of the development project is completely lacking any testable evidence outside of personal anecdotes of agile advocates.

2007 42

Wilo's Law and Mature Communications Processes

Herding Cats

A popular quote in the agile community is Wilo's Law. Any successful technical communication needs to have: Measures of Effectiveness. Measures of Performance. Technical Performance Measures. Key Performance Parameters. Without these measures, there will always be someone who will interpret what you think you communicated in the wrong way. It's one that states hey it's not my fault no one understands me, Wilo's Law says.

Start with Principles, Not Personal Anecdotes

Herding Cats

In the project domain, an estimate is a calculated approximation of some desired measurement. Let's start with some more resources for making estimates in the presence of uncertainty on agile projects.

2018 57

Invoking "Laws" Without a Domain or Context

Herding Cats

Here's two recent ones I've encountered with some Agile and #NoEstimates advocates. Its most popular formulation is: "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." What this says is again when the measure becomes the target, that target impacts the measure, changing the target. . Is this macroeconomic model a correct operational model for software development processes - measuring changes the target ? No measures of effectiveness.

Systems Engineering and Software Intensive System of Systems

Herding Cats

Technical Performance Measures. Agile as a Systems Engineering Paradigm. Can Enterprise Agile Be Bottom Up? There was a Twitter post mentioning Russell Ackoff YouTube about systems. A system is never the sum of its parts, it's the product of their interactions. This is a good start, but it needs to produce actionable outcomes , not just principles, but practices and processes. How do you define, design, represent, assess, analyze, and manage these interactions.

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Cinq (Updated)

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). The Cone of Uncertainty describes the evolution of the measure of uncertainty during a project.

2005 39

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Trois

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). The Cone is NOT the result of the project's past performance. Agile 2008 Conference. [18]

2005 36

Advice for Project Managers: How do I measure the success (or failure) of my projects?


“Dear Elizabeth: I want to get better at measuring the success (or failure) of my projects. And how can I use these metrics to improve project performance?”. These measures will give you some interesting management information and might help you manage the team.

Organizational Culture and Its Impact on Team Performance


Simply put, they suffer because their creativity and their performance is under the influence of drastically different organizational culture than they are used to. To understand how culture impacts team performance, we must first take a look at different types of company cultures.