Years ago, I was asked by my boss (the CEO) to help determine why our largest division was having difficulties executing on DoD (Department of Defense) contracts. We had grown from implementing mostly internal product development projects to performing a larger percentage of contractual projects and struggled with meeting our commitments. In so doing, I decided to… Continue reading What are the Causes of Unsuccessful Project Execution?
I’m a long-time advocate of effective risk management. I’ve done it, taught it, and written about it. That said, formal risk management as described in PMI’s PMBOK® Guide has something that annoys me – conflation of risks (potential negative impact) and opportunities (potential positive impact) and suggesting both are equal fodder for risk management planning and management processes. While I agree that risk and opportunities are related concepts, they tend to emerge and… Continue reading Risks vs. Opportunities & Three Point Estimating
Organizational Quality Systems cover many aspects of compliance. Many industries have established standards, and most companies establish their own. From a project life cycle standpoint, product quality includes meeting technical performance requirements and specifications, some of which are directed by industry compliance codes. Project teams are basically commissioned to establish objective criteria (via tests, analyses,… Continue reading The Importance of Quality to project risk management.
Project scope performed by suppliers can very likely be the riskiest activity on the project. There is a good chance that if your organization conducts very complex, risky development projects which require a multitude of technical subject matter expertise, some key aspect of the projects’ scope will need to be out-sourced. There is a tendency… Continue reading Why Supplier Management is so important to project risk management.
There is a very good reason why PMs need to be good communicators – communication is vital to project success, especially on the more complex projects where team performance is highly scrutinized. Previous postings discussed some of the more critical communication items already – Priorities, Assumptions, Estimating and Planning, Change Management, and Risk Management. To… Continue reading Why Good Communication is so important to project risk management.
Project management would be a lot easier if our original plans were accurate and reliable. This is relatively easy when it comes to follow-on production or deployment of a well-established repeat services. It gets progressively more difficult as the complexity and risk associated with development projects increases. In certain organizations, a top-down estimate suffices. In… Continue reading Why Good Estimating practices are so important to project risk management.
I do not believe that good PMs should know everything. They should be experts in leading projects, and may also be experts in certain technical subject matter categories, but not in every technical subject matter category that the project team encounters difficulties in. Matrix organizations have evolved in part to take advantage of subject matter… Continue reading Asking the right questions.
I have yet to have seen an example of a violation of the six constraints rule-of-thumb – whereby a change to one project constraint (Scope, Cost, Schedule, Resources, Risk or Product Quality/Technical Performance) does not impact at least one of the others (reference: PMBOK® Guide, fifth edition, p. 6). The first action we tend to… Continue reading When Issues arise, Resist automatically Absorbing More Risk.
Whenever you are engaged in project planning you tend to follow the fundamental risk management process steps, whether you do so intentionally or in more of an ad hoc manner. You develop a plan to meet a set of objectives, and if your detailed plan is unable to satisfy all objectives you have to re-plan… Continue reading Project Risk Management Basics under-pin the concept of Holistic Risk Management.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with making an assumption that fundamentally reduces project risk… provided that all the project stakeholders are aware of it, and in agreement with it. Undocumented or ambiguous assumptions can jeopardize an otherwise good project plan. One of the most frustrating things to deal with as a key project stakeholder is… Continue reading Assumptions and Risks are interrelated, so manage both diligently.