A common source of project risk inefficiency is a failure to carry out steps in the design and plan stages thoroughly enough. Thus a project proceeds through to execution with insufficiently well-defined specifications for production. During execution this gives rise to difficulties necessitating additional design development and production planning, and consequently adverse effects on the performance criteria of cost, time, and quality. Related risk inefficiency associated with 'premature definition' is also difficult to avoid entirely, except on very routine, repeated projects, and the problem is most acute in novel, one-off projects involving new technology. The basis of both problems is that it is extremely difficult to specify in advance how every part of the execution and termination phase will take place; neither is it cost-effective to seek to do so. In any case, some uncertainty about operating conditions and related factors outside the control of project management will always remain. Inevitably, judgements have to be made about the degree of detail and accuracy practicable in the design and plan stages. However, these judgements should be supported and informed by appropriate risk analysis that is undertaken no later than the end of the plan stage.
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