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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. In this domain, we are guided by credible results using principles, processes, and procedures to increase the probability of program success. GAO cost estimating and assessment guide.

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. Related articles. Estimates.

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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.

Principles, Processes, and Practices of Project Success

Herding Cats

Practices and Process are Fads. A Process is a series of steps and decisions involved in the way work is completed. Here's my version in the form of questions that when answered form the foundation for the Practices and Processes. Related articles.

A Compendium of Works to Increase the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

Here are my collected works, presentations, briefings, journal papers, articles, white papers, and essays, used to increase the Probability of Project Success (PoPS) I've developed and applied over my career in the software-intensive system of systems domain. Managment Processes.

2003 59

Increasing the Probability of Project Success

Herding Cats

This means having a set of Principles, Process, and Practices to test the suggestion against. These Five Immutable principles are time phased into Processes that provide answers to the Five Principles. With some details for each process area. Related articles.

2017 90

Value First, Requires Margin and Contingency

Herding Cats

The principles of microeconomics of decision making in the presence of uncertainty mandates you make estimates of how to achieve that Value in terms of cost and schedule, those three (and all) variables are random variables, usually driven by a stochastic process. Related articles.

Definition of Done

Herding Cats

These Measures have Little meaning to the Decision Makers. Do those capabilities meet the Measures of Performance that characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions?

2017 49

Integrated Master Plan - Revisited

Herding Cats

Transparent – Comprehensible display of what needs to be done and how completion is measured. It is essential that the IMP represent the work that must be performed. The IMP shows the Accomplishments and the measures of Accomplishments that are essential to get through a design review.

Increasing the Probability of Program Success

Herding Cats

And to make those risk-informed decisions in the presence of reducible and irreducible uncertainty we need to ESTIMATE. So let's look at the principles, processes, and practices that will be in the White paper when it is complete. Top Four Sources of Unfavorable Program Performance.

Risk Management in Five Easy Pieces, with Apologies to Jack

Herding Cats

Managing Cost, Schedule, & Technical Performance Risk Is The Basis Of Good Project Management. Certain information about key project cost, performance, and schedule attributes are often unknown until the project is underway. No Point Estimate of Cost or Duration can be Correct.

Risk 48

Performance-Based Project Management®

Herding Cats

Performance–Based Project Management ® integrates five critical program management process areas with – Cost, Schedule, and Technical Performance Measures. The result is increased visibility and credibility of the Independent Estimate at Completion (IEAC).

Five Immutable Principles of Project Success

Herding Cats

No matter the engineering processes used to produce the outcomes from the project. Without these measures, Done will usually mean . Without these measures, Done will usually mean we ran out of time and money. . Estimating how much is the starting point. No Estimating?

Fallacy of the Day

Herding Cats

Project Controls are Management Actions, either preplanned to achieve the desired result, or taken as a corrective measure prompted by the monitoring process. The units of measures of Cost and Time are straightforward. Value to the business can be defined using these measures.

Performance-Based Project Management®

Herding Cats

Successfully managing projects, not matter the domain, the size, the development or engineering method starts with a set of Principles, Practices, and Processes. The Processes need to be tailored to your domain. Principles and Practices of Performance-Based Project Management® from Glen Alleman. Related articles. Information Technology Estimating Quality.

Wilo's Law and Mature Communications Processes

Herding Cats

To make some conjecture that some process will fix the problem - Estimates are the smell of dysfunction and NOT Estimating will fix that dysfunction - is naive at best and willfully ignorant of Root Cause Analysis at worse. Avoid Verbal Orders is a critical process in any critical situation. Any successful technical communication needs to have: Measures of Effectiveness. Measures of Performance. Technical Performance Measures.

Physical Percent Complete: Knowing When You Are Done

Herding Cats

The goal of every program manager is to have a set of practices that connect all the programmatic planning, risk, and performance information in a single unified view needed to support the decisions that increase the probability of success of any project or program. Related articles.

Cancelling Projects: The Project Isn't Being Done Right

Project Health Check

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

2017 233

Start with Principles, Not Personal Anecdotes

Herding Cats

I've seen estimates abused by bad managers, so let's NOT estimate and that will fix the behavior of Bad Managers." The "bad management" is itself a symptom of untrained, inexperienced, unskilled decision making processes in the presence of uncertainty. . Related articles.

2018 50

Managing in Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The uncertainty is always there, it doesn't go away with specific actions in specific domains, or with the use of any tools, processes, or practices. Do we have measures of Effectiveness, Performance, all the .ilities. We need a formal risk management process.

The Problems with Schedules

Herding Cats

Here's an article, recently referenced by a #NoEstimates twitter post. The headline is deceiving, the article DOES NOT suggest we don't need deadline, but that deadlines without credible assessment of their credibility are the source of many problems on large program. Just the estimate.

2016 55

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. Related articles.

2017 43

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). Estimates are needed but are subject to large level of uncertainty.

2017 40

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. Related articles.

2007 36

What Is Risk?

Herding Cats

risks that may prevent the end item from performing as intended or not meeting performance expectations. Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, Technical Performance Measures, and Key Performance Parameters describe the measures of these expectations. risks that affect the cost and schedule measures of the program. This uncertainty is modeled as a stochastic process of an inherently random physical model.

Cone of Uncertainty - Part Deux

Herding Cats

The Cone is a project management framework describing the uncertainty aspects of estimates or any other project attribute (in this post, cost, schedule, and technical performance parameters). There can be cost and schedule performance measures as well. Related articles.

2017 39

Without a Root Cause Analysis, No Suggested Fix Can Be Effective

Herding Cats

In a recent Blog post titled Precision it is suggested Precision (or the implication thereof) is perhaps the root problem of most, if not all dysfunction related to estimation. . Estimates have precision and accuracy, but the reason for these unfavorable outcomes is not stated in the post.

2016 74

Is Macroeconomics and Social Science the Same as Software Development?

Herding Cats

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. But margin, management reserve, analysis of alternative is standard project management process of dealing with the indeterminate elements of projects. Related articles. Domain and Context Are King, Then Comes Process and Experience. NoEstimates Agile Economics Estimating Governance

2016 36

Misquotes of Deming

Herding Cats

It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth. This is used in support of the fallacy that estimates aren't needed to make decisions in the presence of uncertanty. Related articles. Technical Performance Measures.

2016 52

Acting Like an Adult in the Presence of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

Decision-making is the process of choosing among alternatives. For high-consequence decisions with potential outcomes that can have a large impact on valued things, the decision-making process should involve consideration of uncertainties about the outcomes. [1]. Related articles.

2016 71

11 Critical Project Management Metrics Every Agency Needs to Track

Workamajig

This article looks at the 11 most important project management KPIs you need to track and why. Peter Drucker may have said it half a century ago, but the old adage still rings true: “If you can measure it, you can improve it.”. Only measure it if the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

2019 99

Value and the Needed Units of Measure to Make Decisions

Herding Cats

Without units of measure of Value beyond time and money, there can be not basis of comparison between one value based choice and another. In the Systems Engineering world where we work, there are four critical units of measure for all we done. TPMs assess the design process.

2016 54

Deconstructing The Cone of Uncertainty

Herding Cats

The paper on the Cone of Uncertainty is used by many in the No Estimates community as an example of why estimates are of little use. In this paper, there is data that does not follow the Cone of Uncertainty, in that the uncertainty of the estimates does not reduce as the project proceeds. Landmark’s measure of success over these three years had much more to do with customer satisfaction and market share than with meeting knowingly aggressive targets. Related articles.

2007 37

Fallacy of the Week

Herding Cats

Technical outcomes and their performance - what did we get for our money? Have sufficient Technical Performance Measures margin to cover the required performance measure of the Capabilities. You can't make decision in the presence of uncertainty without making estimates about those decisions. It is a fallacy to say that you can deliver on time, every time - in the presence of uncertainty - without estimating. Related articles.

Invoking "Laws" Without a Domain or Context

Herding Cats

2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process. The increase in entropy accounts for the irreversibility of natural processes, and the asymmetry between future and past. And just to be clear the statistics of the processes in Little's Law are IID - Independent, Identicially Distribution and Stationary.

2016 36

Systems Engineering and Software Intensive System of Systems

Herding Cats

This is a good start, but it needs to produce actionable outcomes , not just principles, but practices and processes. Much of Ackoff's principles are the basis of practices and processes that assure this happens. . The identification of the requirements, the test plans, and the features provided for each release are an essential driver of the product development process. . Related articles. Technical Performance Measures. Estimating Guidance.

Complete Collection of Project Management Statistics 2015

Wrike

Need up-to-date facts and figures for a project management report, article, or infographic? 80% of “high-performing” projects are led by a certified project manager. [4]. Having a knowledge transfer process in place boosts the chance of project success by over 20%. [6].

2015 61