The Impact of Uncertainty on Projects and the Portfolios

Uncertainty is an element of all projects. Risk in projects must be recognized, evaluated, and considered as part of the project prioritization and selection process, as well as during the execution of selected projects. In managing risk, the goal is to minimize the potential for failure to achieve the project's benefits.

When we execute any of the ranking and prioritization schemes, we are basing our decisions on data that is assumed to be precise. In fact, almost all of the data is fraught with uncertainty.

Uncertainty is part of the definition of a project. We are either doing something for the first time or are inventing or developing or designing or experimenting. We are operating in a variable environment, where some of the conditions are beyond our direct control. We are depending on the contributions of others. A slight delay, a change in the exchange rate, a failure of an experiment, an act of nature: each of these can turn a promising project into a disappointment.

Disregarding all of this, we take the assumed values and submit the data to a very exacting routine, generating a set of numerical values that we take to the bank. What we are likely to have is erroneous because it assumes results that are based on a specific set of circumstances that have little chance of occurring exactly as planned. Then we extend this data to four decimal places, based on the assumed results, which will only give us a very precise error.

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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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