Managing Projects with a High Degree of Uncertainty

We have acknowledged that two of the primary application candidates for PPM are the fields of information technology and NPD. These two fields share a common challenge: they often have projects with a high degree of uncertainty.

These high-uncertainty projects create two distinct problems in regard to PPM. The first is a high and complex risk condition, which we address at length in Chapter 3.3. The second problem is that of setting performance targets and metrics for projects where what is learned from each phase defines the succeeding phase. This issue is addressed by establishing two sets of targets by phase. One set consists of long-range soft targets, based on the business case that was presented with the project proposal. As with the bounding box, we look for project performance issues that would indicate that the project might not be delivering the benefits that were expected as a condition of selection. The second set is shorter-term hard targets that would be used for the EVA. These targets would be updated at the end of each phase. As each phase clarifies the efforts and objectives of the next phase, a set of specific target metrics is produced. What we avoid by this method is having the project being measured against an obsolete set of metrics. (For discussion on phased baselining and other aspects of managing the EVA baseline and scope changes, see Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools, Chapter 7.1.)2

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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