Tag Archives: project management

How to reduce risks on important projects.

Background on Managing Risk on Important Projects

Reduce Risk on Important ProjectsIn the context of any strategic initiative involving a significant evolution in systems, process, or organization, risk is the chance that the effort will be less than a complete success … that it will be late, over budget, perform unacceptably when completed, fail to realize the expected business benefits, or even never be completed.

There are so many factors that can contribute to a less-than-successful project.  How is a project manager to decide which to focus on and how to address them?

Approach

Milt Hess, in his paper Reducing Risk on Projects, presents a strategy for deciding which risk factors deserve attention and for integrating risk reduction into the project holistically instead of treating it as a separate activity.  This strategy turns the traditional approach to risk management on its head.  Instead of thinking about all the things that can wrong, it focuses on what has to go right.

The strategy requires that a project first establish a clear definition of success – its success targets.  The paper describes concrete steps that the project can take to increase the likelihood of meeting the targets and the questions that senior management and sponsors should ask to ensure that the project stays on track.

Here are a few of the key elements of the approach:

  • Periodically develop a forecast of the expected outcomes for the success targets. If the forecast for a target is ‘I don’t know’, the project is at risk.  Include resources in the project plan to reduce uncertainty about the outcome.
  • Dependency on external events and agents introduces risk. Explicitly identify dependencies during the planning process, document assumptions, and monitor them regularly.  Include resources in the project plan to reduce uncertainty about the dependencies.

Continue reading How to reduce risks on important projects.

Idea-to-Benefit Cycle

There are many ways to provide value to leaders who seek to turn ideas into benefits. Leaders of services firms  need to get and stay clear about how they help leaders in order to perform and grow to their full potential.

Click the figure below to view a presentation on how to think about helping leaders turn ideas into benefits.

framework-idea-to-benefit-featured
Idea-to-Benefit Cycle Presentation

How to think about and organize Project, Client, and Offering Managers.

Clients and Offerings
Figure 1: A business with project that deliver offerings to clients.
Projects
Figure 2: Project managers deliver offering value on time, on target, and on budget.

Organizations that offer solutions to clients manage: Projects, Clients, and Offerings as suggested in Figure 1. Managing each requires different skills and seeks to achieve different goals as outlined below.

Project Managers, see Figure 2, deliver offering value to specific clients on time, on budget, and on target. Project Managers are also counted on to extend and expand engagements in order to deliver even greater value over a longer time frame. Continue reading How to think about and organize Project, Client, and Offering Managers.

How to connect the Top-of-the-House to the Front-Line.

When top leaders are informed, thinking critically, and engaged enough to provide guidance and direction How to connect the Top-of-the-House to the Front-Line, things tend to go pretty well.  That is, things get done better, sooner, and more smoothly when leaders pay close attention.  This note describes an efficient way for top leaders to get and stay up-to-speed, see and understand what is going on, ask questions and think critically, develop a point-of-view, and provide advice and guidance on their organization’s most important functions, projects, and initiatives. Continue reading How to connect the Top-of-the-House to the Front-Line.