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2012.09.11-Peter O'Neill- Six Ways to Sabotage Effective Project Management
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2012.09.11-Peter O'Neill- Six Ways to Sabotage Effective Project Management

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This presentation identifies common problmes and offers solutions for project managers of both multiple and singular, complex and simple projects.

This presentation identifies common problmes and offers solutions for project managers of both multiple and singular, complex and simple projects.

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. Warwick Business School 12 September,
  • 2. Assuming the Basics are in Place: The organisation has a suitable and effective strategy in place Projects are aligned with organisational strategy Appropriate PM methodologies are in place for significant projectsWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 3. Six Common Ways to SabotageSuccess1. Initiate and try to deliver more projects than can reasonably be resourced2. Insist on single estimates of cost, benefit and schedule from day one3. Resist attempts to freeze appropriate levels of scope definition as projects progress4. Make it clear that risk management is solely the responsibility of the PM and project teamWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 4. Six Common Ways to SabotageSuccess (continued)5. Demand simple measures of project progress as the main approach to monitoring and controlling6. Ignore the importance and value of effective and rigorous post project appraisalsWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 5. 1. Initiate and try to deliver more projects thancan reasonably be resourced (causes) Invalid paradigms:  The more projects we do, the more will succeed  If a project has potential value, it should be done  Cancelling a project implies poor management Methodology gaps:  Lack of business case (particularly benefit) rigour  Failure to include resource implications in cases  Lack of resource-based portfolio managementWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 6. 1. Initiate and try to deliver more projects thancan reasonably be resourced (strategies) Include requirements for resource estimation, and resource commitment in project approval processes Review resource estimates and resource usage during key stages Be prepared to delay or cancel projects if resource cannot be committed Develop more flexible project (and operational) resourcing solutionsWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 7. 2. Insist on single estimates of cost, benefit andschedule from day one (causes) Range estimates (“the project is likely to generate between 5% and 15% more sales, beginning in either Q3 or Q4, at a cost of £2 million +/- 30%”) are inconvenient, difficult to compare and appear to reduce PM accountability Management performance targets are much easier to present plans for using single estimatesWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 8. 2. Insist on single estimates of cost, benefit andschedule from day one (strategies) Include evaluation of levels of project uncertainty in evaluating new projects (i.e. Obeng’s classification1 or Glenday’s sieve2) Provide guidance on expected estimate ranges at project stages Develop probability models to assist in portfolio management, PM accountability and management performance planningWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 9. 3. Resist attempts to freeze appropriate levels ofscope definition as projects progress (causes) Progress and schedule confidence are more intuitive and visible measures than scope clarity and confidence Discipline and integration are lacking in stakeholder management Scope control CAN reduce flexibility Management and customers do not understand (or support) the need for change control Impacts of poor control are not visible/measuredWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 10. 3. Resist attempts to freeze appropriate levels ofscope definition as projects progress (strategies) Provide guidance on expected (and incremental) scope freeze points at project stages Ensure communication and negotiation of scope decisions across key stakeholders Require appropriate (and incremental) change control processes within project stages Visibly review – and be prepared to deliver consequences for – late scope changesWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 11. 4. Make clear that risk management is solely theresponsibility of the PM/project team (causes) Escalation of decisions on risks to more senior or functional management is seen as ‘passing the buck’ or lack of PM competence Functional staff (or suppliers / consultants) can be resistant to providing clear information or recommendations that may question project viability Functional staff (or suppliers / consultants) may not be comfortable with decision uncertaintyWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 12. 4. Make clear that risk management is solely theresponsibility of the PM/project team (strategies) Acknowledge the presence of significant or emerging uncertainty in many projects and reward transparent integrated discussion Build escalation levels into risk classification tools (i.e. Probability / Impact grids) Provide clear guidance on the processes to follow when risk information is required from outside the ‘project team’.Warwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 13. 5.Demand simple measures of project progress asthe approach to monitoring/controlling (causes) ‘% Complete’ is simple to understand (?) Typically, PM software uses simple measures Simple measures appear to provide consistent comparisons between project performance The negative impacts of such measures are rarely clearly visible More complex measurement often generates reporting which acknowledges uncertaintyWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 14. 5.Demand simple measures of project progress asthe approach to monitoring/controlling (strategies) Provide clear and consistent guidance on how measures such as ‘% complete’ should be derived Use Earned Value (where appropriate) to separate schedule from cost impacts Concentrate progress reporting on the probability and requirements of meeting agreed scope & benefits as well as time & costWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 15. 6. Ignore the importance and value of effective andrigorous post project appraisals (causes) Making progress on existing projects is seen as far more valuable than reviewing old ones Resource pressure prevents availability of staff time for activities that are not ‘urgent’ The value of estimate vs actual data, identifying and sharing best practice / poor performance factors isn’t understood or appreciated Reviews tend to be a search for who to blameWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 16. 6. Ignore the importance and value of effective andrigorous post project appraisals (strategies) Sample some finished key projects to identify the size of the potential rewards for effective appraisals Visit ‘good practice’ organisations to understand the value and usage of data and learnings Require the dates and resources for TWO post project appraisals (PPA1 & PPA2) to be agreed as part of execution closeout approvalsWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012
  • 17. References1. Obeng, Eddie. All Change! The Project Leaders Secret Handbook (1995) Financial Times Pearson Publishing2. Glenday, Ian. Breaking Through to Flow: Banish Fire Fighting and Produce to Customer Demand (2005) Lean Enterprise Academy LtdWarwick Business School 12 September, 2012