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Project Data Analytics - How do we leverage experience of project delivery? webinar, Question responses, 20 March 2018

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Project Data Analytics - How do we leverage experience of project delivery? webinar - Questions and answers
Tuesday 20 March 2018

presented by Martin Paver, established London Project Data and Analytics Meetup
hosted by Merv Wyeth, Benefits Management SIG Secretary

The link to the write up page and resources of this webinar:
https://www.apm.org.uk/news/project-data-analytics-how-do-we-leverage-experience-of-project-delivery-webinar/

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Project Data Analytics - How do we leverage experience of project delivery? webinar, Question responses, 20 March 2018

  1. 1. Benefits Management Specific Interest Group (SIG) Project Data Analytics - How do we leverage experience of project delivery? webinar Questions and Answers Tuesday 20 March 2018 Martin Paver established London Project Data and Analytics Meetup Webinar speaker
  2. 2. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 1. What are your thoughts on whether this is cultural change or change in processes to getting to the end result you are trying to achieve? It’s definitely a cultural challenge. The first step is to 'ignite the professional imagination' on the art of the possible and build out from there. Processes can follow to formalise whatever successes have been achieved. I'd recommend an agile based methodology with pilots. But work towards a bold and transformative vision.
  3. 3. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 2. How do we stop organisations from forcing their rally drivers to go too fast / with the wrong approach despite their professional opinion and advice? There is a point when speed becomes reckless. If project managers are proven to be reckless then there should be consequences. As an engineer, if I cut corners and my product costs my client a lot of money then there are implications. We need to change the culture (and probably pay people more as a consequence). In time, machine learning should be able to provide early warnings. This should drive the agenda for the project board and also help to shape coaching & assurance interventions.
  4. 4. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 3. Connected data - what is that picture telling us - what insight can you gain? The connected data picture illustrates that there are connections in the data that we can explore further or query. For example, understanding the connectivity between risks, how they evolve and snowball, how the risks relate to lessons and impact. In essence it’s the ability to extract insights from the connections in the data.
  5. 5. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 4. This feels time consuming and complex - i.e. resource heavy. Is that right? and how do you justify the time collating this information and investing in the tools to mine that? I don't believe it is. Organisations already collect schedule, risk, lesson, issue, cost, data, etc. It’s a matter of extracting this against a series of use cases to solve specific problems. Some of the tools are free, its matter of how they are integrated and supported in the 'stack'. In terms of justification, it’s a conventional cost benefit analysis. I wouldn't recommend approaching this by promising a big bang vision of a beautiful future, but to set that vision within the context of implementation sprints, with gates to measure progress and build momentum.
  6. 6. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 5. Can you explain more about what is machine learning? There is a lot of material on the internet. I would recommend Andrew Ng's videos such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzxYlbK2c7E . The Udacity videos are a bit easier to understand see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICKBWIkfeJ8
  7. 7. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 6. Were the original budgets realistic based on reference based estimating or were the budgets politically influenced? There is a large body of work on this. I would recommend Bent Flyvbjerg's work. It depends on the project. Some projects suffer from 'strategic misrepresentation', http://bit.ly/2IKj0xV i.e. the business case is oversold. But this isn't the only reason for the cost misalignment. Bias is a major factor. It also depends whether there is something to reference against - if it is a once in a lifetime, complex and innovative project then the point of reference will require a greater level of abstraction.
  8. 8. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 7. If someone is looking to start a career in this sector, what kind of roles can the person apply for? It’s a very emergent industry. The P3M market isn't quite ready for this yet, but I expect this to change by the end of this year. I'd recommend finding roles that enable you to delve into the detail, whilst doing some of the Coursera or Udacity nano degrees.
  9. 9. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 8. You have already touched on the fact that PMs are, more often than not, pushed for time and are, therefore, reactive. This, in my experience leads to pushing on to the next stage/sprint without properly (if at all) recording lessons learnt. What's your recommendation for approaching this problem? And how can we best promote the recording of meaningful lessons? The lessons are rarely useful to them so they try and fill in the forms and get on with their job. The turning point will be when they understand the intrinsic value in the data and what it can do for them and their organisation. When the Board understand the potential then I would envisage that it will become a key part of any organisation's data to day work.
  10. 10. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 9. Does the data take account of the increased import costs for materials resulting from weakened pound? There are lessons associated with currency and commodity risks. The lessons could be to contract in GBP or hedge forward.
  11. 11. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 10. Is data analytics compatible with BIM? Yes. BIM is subset of project data. But it also extends beyond project 'delivery data' into virtual models and a range of other attributes. They are complementary and there is an overlap.
  12. 12. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 11. Do you think that one of the problems that we face is that we don't have qualified people in project management positions? I know for my industry, many individuals with Engineering skills/experience are advanced into project management positions... Partly. It depends on the sector. I've worked with some highly qualified and experienced PMs. I've also worked with some who have fallen into it. A data centric approach will really help those with less experience because it should provide checklists, prompts and insights. But we have to be careful because intellectual ownership must reside with the individual. It would be a dangerous future if projects failed because the 'computer told me to do it'. Less experienced PMs should also seek wise counsel from others when they approach a difficult part of the rally track.
  13. 13. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 12. Is there a standard form of software, or a standard body where the data can be collaboratively shared? Not yet. Government currently have a reluctance to open up data. But we are falling behind other countries (see itdashboard.gov). In my opinion if the UK wants to be a leader in this then we need data. Government has most of it and have an obligation to share it. If you believe this then campaign to open it up and we'll get there. I'm working with the Major Projects Association to try and pool data, but it is very early days. There are a lot of issues to consider to ensure that it is used in a mature way, isn't compromised and is appropriately anonymised.
  14. 14. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 13. Whilst part of the problem is a personal lack of application of knowledge, how much is also to do with organisational culture and commitment? The culture is the main barrier. Please see my earlier answer. But culture can't be changed overnight.
  15. 15. Questions and Answers Please note that the answers given here are the opinions of the people concerned, who are experienced practitioners and they do not necessarily reflect the guidance in the APM BoK or other text books. 14. With reference to what we are seeing in the news today, and bearing in mind GDPR, how easy will it really be to 'pool data'? GDPR is about personal data. This challenge relates to project data. I've already seen in some of the data sets that names are redacted, but we don't need names or personal data for 99% of the use cases. This may differ inside of an organisation if there is a decision to use personal delivery performance to inform machine learning, e.g.' Tony always skips over front end loading and this results in problems in design; we need to provide more guidance to Tony and ensure that we provide appropriate coaching and oversight‘.
  16. 16. Thank you for your engagement with this webinar and this QandA session.
  17. 17. These questions were raised during a presentation delivered at an APM webinar To find out more about upcoming webinars please visit our website www.apm.org.uk/events

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