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. Figure 1 - Planned Estimates versus Actual Performance from [1]. What processes are in place to execute according to plan? Related articles. Herding Cats: Probabilistic Cost and Schedule Processes.

5 Ways to Track and Measure Employee Performance

The Digital Project Manager

Monitoring performance is a matter of setting the right performance indicators, based on the type of work they do as well as the responsibilities have and tasks they perform to ensure the company’s continuous and successful operations. Some of the key questions you need to answer as you formulate employee performance measurement tools and practices include whether or not they are meeting personal objectives and whether they understand your major goals and expectations.

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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. 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? Related articles.

Project Management Process & Phases

ProProfs Project Management

In simple terms, the Project Management process is the art of managing all components of a project from starting to closure using a structured scientific methodology. According to the PMBOK guide, which is considered the bible for project managers, project management is scientifically done by managing project documents through 49 processes that are grouped into five project phases. . The processes in this phase are: . specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) .

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. Integrated Master Plan: The Foundation of Program Success , College of Performance Management, May 21, 2014. The Nine "I's" of Program Success ," College of Performance Management.

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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. and the connections between each Process are made to form a Closed Loop control systems needed to manage any project. With some details for each process area. To support these Principles and Processes, a set of Practices are needed. Related articles.

2017 69

How to Talk About Estimates

Herding Cats

We can't talk about estimates or estimate, without also talking about the precision and accuracy of the estimate (the noun) after we have performed the estimate (the verb). . Every month there is a Month End reports, both showing cumulative cost to date, cumulative schedule performance, and Physical Percent Complete. Related articles. What is an estimate? An estimate as a noun is an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity, or extent of something.

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. This process can be stationary (unchanging distribution) or non-stationary (a changing distribution function). Related articles. There's a popular notion in Agile that says Focus on Value.

Definition of Done

Herding Cats

These Measures have Little meaning to the Decision Makers. Do those capabilities meet the Measures of Effectiveness needed to accomplish the mission of the system in operational units of success closely related to the achievements of the mission or operational objectives evaluated in the operational environment, under a specific set of conditions? These are attributes to assure the system has the capability and capacity to perform. Related articles.

2017 38

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. Thus, the common approach to "measure productivity" is to compare the estimates against what, in fact, happened. Similarly, product lifecycle management (PLM) integrates people, data, processes and business systems.

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. If the IMP is being prepared as part of a proposal, then the Request for Proposal (RFP) and RFP attachments will be the primary documents to define the work to 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

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. Unrealistic Performance Expectations. Impacts of Risk on Program Performance. Processes to Prevent Unfavorable Impacts. System Engineering Processes. Program Management Processes. Technical Design, Development, and Testing Processes. Risk Management Processes.

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. These risks can be mitigated with a good risk management process. A good risk management process is proactive and fundamentally different than issue management or problem-solving, which is reactive. Risk Management Process Model.

Risk 37

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. Project controls are concerned with the metrics of the project – quantities, time, cost, and other resources and their measurable beneficial outcomes for the project. In the Project Controls paradigm, Value is a measurable attribute of the project controls process - a Closed Loop Control measure.

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. . The test of the hypothesis for projects are the Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, Key Performance Parameters, and techTechnicalformance Measures used to assess progress to plan for the project. Related articles.

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.

Control partners should have skin in the game!

Kiron Bondale

I finally completed reading Nassim Taleb ‘s book Skin in the Game which I had written about in a recent article. Introduce performance measures and incentives for control staff which are tied to the impacts created by their work as opposed to just the completion of this work. Facilitating Organization Change Process Peeves Project Management improving project management PM compliance issues Process compliance stupidity

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. Related articles.

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 ). DP6Jw is an overview of this process. 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. Related articles.

How to Delegate Tasks With More Confidence and Less Stress

Girl's Guide to PM

This article, How to Delegate Tasks With More Confidence and Less Stress , first appeared on Girl's Guide to Project Management. This is a guest article from Simon Harris from Logical Model. Long ago I found being delegated to was often a confusing process. Read this article on delegating tasks first. As recipient of the delegation you have a duty to: Confirm the performance criteria are mutually understood and agreed.

2018 260

6 Tools and Techniques for Controlling Risks

Project Risk Coach

In these risk review sessions, the team discussed the effectiveness of the risk responses and the risk management processes. PMBOK 6th Edition The PMBOK 6th Edition changed the process name of "Control Risks" to "Monitor Risks." Monitor Risks is the process of monitoring the implementation of agreed-upon risk response plans, tracking identified risks, identifying and analyzing new risks, and evaluating risk process effectiveness throughout the project."

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. In part 2, we look at how sometimes the Project being worked on is no longer the right Project. In this part 3, we will look at the other cause of cancelling: the Project isn't being done right.

2017 179

Project Status Reporting – 6 Key Considerations

Project Health Check

The entire purpose of the Start-up Phase of a Project is to produce a comprehensive Plan for the Project; consisting of an integrated Performance Measurement Baseline (Time, Cost, Scope) and an associated Project Management Plan to monitor and control it. So far so good; but when an organisation is orchestrating its status reporting process, what does it need to consider? What other considerations can you think of for designing Project Status Reporting processes?

2017 192

Next Generation Project Management Software

Girl's Guide to PM

In this article we look at emerging software in the PPM space and discuss how its selection and implementation needs to be done in line with an overarching digital strategy. It covered identifying requirements, interconnecting tasks, resources, planned values, actual values, baselines, performance measures, forecast techniques and timesheets. Digitalization and Collaboration. The project and portfolio management (PPM) software market is changing.

2016 305

The Tyranny of the Urgent - and how to manage it

Project Health Check

But robust planning in general will set up the project for success; things like engaged stakeholders, managed risks and a realistic Performance Measurement Baseline will reduce the likelihood of issues appearing in the first place. 2) Define an Issue Escalation Process In point 1 we attempted to avoid urgent issues and escalations in the first place by proper planning. If that doesn't work then we need to put in place a process to manage these.

2017 152

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. Reductionism must be replaced by emergence where the complex system of data and processes and the sum of the pieces and parts provides a deeper insight into the functions of the system. Related articles.

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]. For customers paying for the development of software, these things include - cost, schedule (time cost of money), market timing, and performance of the product to name a few. Related articles.

2016 55

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. Measures of Effectiveness - these are operational measures of success that are closely related to the achievements of the mission or operational objectives evaluated in the operational environment, under a specific set of conditions.

2016 42

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. I spent the week speaking at the College of Performance Management conference where government and industry come together to work on the issues of cost, schedule, and technical performance management process improvement needed to increase the probability of program success. Related articles. Technical Performance Measures.

2016 40

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

Herding Cats

Using the chart from the post, showing the number of projects that went over their estimated effort, let's look closer at a process to sort out the conjectures made in the post about estimating. Without determining which root cause is the source of the unfavorable performance of the projects shown in the first chart, no suggestion for corrections can be made. . Related articles. Herding Cats: Project Management, Performance Measures, and Statistical Decision Making.

2016 57

Communications Management: PMP Study Guide (PMBOK 6th Edition)


Project Communications Management is the process of planning, collecting, storing, and updating project information. This article is part of a PMP Study Guide that summarizes the Communications Management Knowledge Area. In this article, we will cover the key terms and three processes in the Communications Management Knowledge Area. The main output of this process is the Communications Management Plan. This process happens during the Executing process group.

11 Critical Project Management Metrics Every Agency Needs to Track


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.”. A robust PM system might tell you how a project is doing at any moment, but it can’t tell you how the organization or its constituent people are performing. Measuring and monitoring project management metrics fills this gap.

2019 73

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). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. The Cone is NOT the result of the project's past performance. Related articles.

2007 33

An Introductory Guide to Project Management for HR


In fact, HR professionals are increasingly adopting project management tools to improve their processes and workflows. . In this article, we will discuss the benefits of project management for HR professionals and why HR project management is vital for departmental success. For instance, attracting new talent, launching and executing training and development programs, completing annual performance and salary reviews are all projects that HR teams need to complete.

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

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. Related articles. NoEstimates (is) An Unconventional Approach That Finally Solves The "Deliver On Time!" Problem. Let's deconstruct this conjecture. All project work operates in the presence of uncertainty.

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.

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.

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). Estimates of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. This is a closed loop control system for managing the program with a T echnical Performance Measure (TPM).

2017 30

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 of cost, schedule, technical performance on the left side of the cone have a lower probability of being precise and accurate than estimates on the right side of the cone. The Cone of Uncertainty describes the evolution of the measure of uncertainty during a project.

2017 30