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Performance-Based Project Management¬ģ Principles, Practices, and Processes to Increase Probability of Success
Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

Inversion of Control In Commercial Off The Shelf Products (COTS)

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 19:25

The architecture of COTS products comes fixed from the vendor. As standalone systems this is not a problem. When integration starts, it is a problem. 

Here's a white paper from the past that addresses this critical enterprise IT issue

Inversion of Control from Glen Alleman
Categories: Project Management

Architecture -Center ERP Systems in the Manufacturing Domain

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 13:51

I found another paper presented at Newspaper systems journal around architecture in manufacturing and ERP.

One of the 12 Principles of agile says The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. This is a developers point of view of architecture. The architects point of view looks like.

Architectured Centered Design from Glen Alleman
Categories: Project Management

IT Risk Management

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 02:46

I was sorting through a desk draw and came across a collection of papers from book chapters and journals done in the early 2000's when I was the architect of an early newspaper editorial system.

Here's one on Risk Management

Information Technology Risk Management from Glen Alleman This work was done early in the risk management development process. Tim Lister's quote came later Risk management is how adults management projects.
Categories: Project Management

Why Guessing is not Estimating and Estimating is not Guessing

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 19:00

I hear all the time estimating is the same as guessing. This is not true mathematically nor is not true business process wise. This is an approach used by many (guessing), not understanding that making decisions in the presence of uncertainty requires we understand the impact of that decision. When that future is uncertain, we need to know that impact in probabilistic terms. And with this, comes confidence, precision, and accuracy of the estimate.

What’s the difference between estimate and guess? The distinction between the two words is one of the degree of care taken in arriving at a conclusion.

The word Estimate is derived from the Latin word aestimare, meaning to value. The term is has the origin of estimable, which means capable of being estimated or worthy of esteem, and of course esteem, which means regard as in High Regard.

To estimate means to judge the extent, nature, or value of something - connected to the regard - he is held in high regard, with the implication that the result is based on expertise or familiarity. An estimate is the resulting calculation or judgment. A related term is approximation, meaning close or near.

In between a guess and an estimate is an educated guess, a more casual estimate. An idiomatic term for this type of middle-ground conclusion is ballpark figure. The origin of this American English idiom, which alludes to a baseball stadium, is not certain, but one conclusion is that it is related to in the ballpark, meaning close in the sense that one at such a location may not be in a precise location but is in the stadium.

To guess is to believe or suppose, to form an opinion based on little or no evidence, or to be correct by chance or conjecture. A guess is a thought or idea arrived at by one of these methods. Synonyms for guess include conjecture and surmise, which like guess can be employed both as verbs and as nouns.

We could have a hunch or an intuition, or we can engage in guesswork or speculation. Dead reckoning is same thing as guesswork.  Dead reckoning was originally referred to a navigation process based on reliable information. Near synonyms describing thoughts or ideas developed with more rigor include hypothesis and supposition, as well as theory and thesis.

A guess is a casual, perhaps spontaneous conclusion. An estimate is based on intentional  thought processes supported by data.

What Does This Mean For Projects?

If we're guessing we're making uninformed conclusions usually in the absence of data, experience, or any evidence of credibility. If we're estimating we are making informed conclusions based on data, past performance, models - including Monte Carlo models, and parametric models.

When we hear decisions can be made without estimates. Or all estimating is guessing, we now mathematically and business process - neither of this is true.

This post is derived from Daily Writing Tips 

Related articles Making Conjectures Without Testable Outcomes Strategy is Not the Same as Operational Effectiveness Are Estimates Really The Smell of Dysfunction? Information Technology Estimating Quality
Categories: Project Management

Making Conjectures Without Testable Outcomes

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 21:05

I never met Carl Sagan. I've read his materials (both technical and popular) and listened to his talks. Dr. Sagan was a fierce questioner of many things. But in that questioning process is a framework by which answers can be discovered. Here's two nice quotes

Tumblr_mizbc3VWht1ri1icuo1_500 Nice Hypothesis

When we hear some conjecture about some solution of a problem and there is not stated problem (root cause) or not stated test of how that solution is going to fixe that problem, think of Carl. 

The conjecture there is cause and effect without confirming cause and effect is another common naive thought process. We get that from the  anti- vaccine , global warming deniers to name a few. We also get this from those who conjecture that estimates are the smell of dysfunction without every stating the dysfunctions, discovering the cause and effect connections for the dysfunction (the unstated dysfunction).

Dr. Sagan primary message was and still is an 

I don't what to believe, I want to Know

If we seek to improve the probability of success for our software intensive systems, we can't just believe the unsubstantiated conjecture of a group on unhappy developers tired of be abused by bad managers. We need tangible evidence that their conjectures are not only testable outside their personal anecdotes, but also those conjectures  are not violations of the basis of all business decision making.

And just for the record.

  • Estimating is hard, so are many things. That does not remove the need to estimate when making decisions in the presence of uncertainty.
  • Estimates are misused by bad managers and even well intentioned managers. That does not remove their need when making non-trivial business and technical decisions. By non-trivial I mean¬†value at risk is at a level that unfavorably impacts the business when the decision turns out to be wrong.
  • All project work is probabilistic with uncertainty of the future outcomes. Making decisions requires making estimates
  • Assessing value requires we know the cost to achieve that value. Since but value and cost are probabilistic, no assessment of value can take place without estimating both cost and value. This is the basis of Microeconomics of business management.

A final thought about unsubstantiated opinions, masking as personal anecdotes (thanks for this Peter)

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 1.55.18 PM

Categories: Project Management

Climbing Mountains Requires Good Estimates

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 21:50

LongsswridgerouteThere was an interesting post on the #NoEstimates thread that triggered memories of our hiking and climbing days with our children (now grown and gone) and our neighbor who has summited many of the highest peaks around the world.

The quote was Getting better at estimates is like using time to plan the Everest climb instead of climbing smaller mountains for practice.

A couple background ideas:

  • The picture above is Longs Peak. We can see Longs Peak from our back deck in Niwot Colorado. It's one of 53 14,000 foot mountains in Colorado -¬†Fourteeners. Long is one of 4 along the front range.¬†

In our neighborhood are several semi-pro mountain climbers. Like them, we moved to Colorado for the outdoor life - skiing, mountain and road biking, hiking, and climbing. 

Now to the Tweet suggesting that getting better at estimating is replaced by doing (climb) smaller projects. Turns out estimates are needed for those smaller mountains, estimates are needed for all hiking and climbing. But first...

  • No one is going to climb Everest - and live to tell about it - without first having summited many other¬†high peaks.
  • Anyone interested in the trials and tribulations of Everest should start with John Krakauer's¬†Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster.
  • Before attempting - and attempting is the operative word here - any signifiant peak several things have to be in place.

Let's start with those Things.

No matter how prepared you are, you need a plan. Practice on lower peaks is necessary but far from sufficient for success. Each summit requires planning in depth. For Long's peak you need a Plan A, Plan B, and possibly a Plan C. Most of all you need strong estimating skills and the accompanying experience to determine when to invoke each Plan. People die on Longs because they foolishly think they can beat the odds and proceed with Plan B only to discover Plan C - abandon the day - was what they should have done

So the suggest that summiting something big, like any of the Seven Summits, without both deep experience and deep planning is likely going to not be heard of again.

 So the OP is likely speaking for not having summited much of anything, hard to tell, no experience resume attached.

The estimating part is basic, Can we make it to the key hole on Long's Peak before the afternoon storms come in? On Everest, can we make it to the Hillary Step before 1:00 PM? No? Turn back, you're gonna die if you continue.

Can we make it to the delivery date at the pace we're on now, AND with the emerging situation for the remaining work, AND for the cost we're trying to keep AND with the needed capabilities the customer needs? Remember the use of past performance is fine, If and Only If the future is something like the past, or we know something about how the future is different from the past.

When the future not like the past? We need a Plan B. And that plan has to have estimates of our future capabilities, cost expenditure rate, and our abilities to produce the needed capabilities.

ALL PLANNING IN THE PRESENCE OF UNCERTAINTY REQUIRES - MANDATES ACTUALLY - ESTIMATING. 

Ask any hiker, climber, development manager, business person. Time to stop managing by platitudes and start managing by the principles of good management.

Related articles There is No Such Thing as Free The Fallacy of the Planning Fallacy Systems Thinking, System Engineering, and Systems Management Myth's Abound Eyes Wide Shut - A View of No Estimates Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis Applying the Right Ideas to the Wrong Problem Making Decisions In The Presence of Uncertainty
Categories: Project Management

Deadlines Always Matter

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 17:04

There is a popular notion in the Agile world that with continuous deployment and frequent shipping, dates should cease to matter. The next big feature should be ‚Äėjust‚Äô one release of many.¬†

But the  Capabilities provided by the software system many times have dependencies on other capabilities. Here's an example of a health insurance provider network system. There is a minimum number of features needed to provide a single Capability that the business can put to work making money. Certainty continuous delivery of features is always a good idea. But the business is looking for capabilities not just features. The Capability to do something of value. This is the Value used - and many times misused - in Agile. 

It's not about working software (which is necessary). It's about that working software being able to produce measurable value for the business. That can be revenue, services, operational processes. In the enterprise these Capabilities need to be delivered in the right order at the right time for the right cost for the business to meet it's business goals. Rarely are they Independent in practice.

Capabilities Flow

To discover what capabilities are needed, here's one approach taken from our Capabilities Based Planning paradigm

Capabilities

 

Here's a more detailed process description.

The notion that deadlines are no longer needed in agile domains is technically not possible of any non-trivial system when the business is excepting a set of Capabilities that are themselves dependent on other capabilities. An accounting  systems that can issue Purchase Orders, but not do Accounts Payables, is of little use. An HR system that can screen resumes, hire people, but not stand up the payroll records is of little use. When we hear about how agile can do all these wonderful things, make sure you test it with those paying for those wonderful things first. This of course goes for the #Noestimates notion as well - ask those paying if they have no interest in knowing when those capabilities will be available and how much they will cost. You may get a  different answer that the one provided by the developer, who does not  own the money, the business accountability, or the balance sheet performance goals. Related articles Capabilities Based Planning Root Cause of Project Failure What's the Smell of Dysfunction? Capabilities Based Planning - Part 2 Are Estimates Really The Smell of Dysfunction? Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis Applying the Right Ideas to the Wrong Problem
Categories: Project Management

Root Cause of Project Failure

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 19:18

SinkingThere is much discussion around project failures. Looking for the root cause of failure is the approach taken by organizations seeking to establish the processes for avoiding failure in the future.

Many voices in the IT Project Failure domain reference the Standish Reports as the starting point. 

These reports have serious flaws in their approach - not the least of which is the respondents are self-selected. Meaning the population of IT projects is not represented in the returned sample. Another popular misrepresentation is the software crisis. Using a 30 year old NATO Report, it is conjectured the crisis can only be fixed by applying a method, without determining the Root Cause - if there ever was one. 

These approaches can be found in How to Lie With Statistics. That aside there is another serious flaw in this project failure discussion. 

There are solutions looking for a problem to solve. Tools, processes, practices, vendors, consultants. But nearly always the needed Root Cause Analysis is not the starting point. Instead the symptom is used as the target for the solution. But first let's establish the framing assumptions for project success.

Successful execution of Enterprise IT, Aerospace, Defense, and Government Software Intensive Systems (SIS) requires management discipline to identify what ‚ÄúDone‚ÄĚ looks like, provide measures of progress toward ‚ÄúDone,‚ÄĚ identify and remove risks and impediments to reaching ‚ÄúDone,‚ÄĚ and assure timely corrective actions to maintain the planned progress towards ‚ÄúDone.‚Ä̬†

I work in a domain where Performance Assessment and Root Cause Analyses is a standard function of program management. Increasing the Probability of Program Success is a business strategy. There are many approaches to increasing the probability of program success. But first what are some Root Causes of failure? Here's the top 4 from research:

  1. Unrealistic Performance Expectations, missing Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) and Measures of Performance (MOP).
  2. Unrealistic Cost and Schedule estimates based on inadequate risk adjusted growth models.
  3. Inadequate assessment of risk and unmitigated exposure to these risks without proper handling plans.
  4. Unanticipated technical issues without alternative plans and solutions to maintain programmatic and technical effectiveness.

There are dozens more from the Root Cause Analysis efforts in software intensive systems, but these four occur most often. Before suggesting any corrective action to any observed problem (undesirable effect), we need to know the Root Cause. Asking 5 Whys is a start, but without some framework for that process, it too becomes a cause for failure. A method we use is Reality Charting. It forces the conversation to cause and effect and prevents  the story telling approach where Dilbert Cartoons are descriptions of the cause - the SMELL - of the problem. 

One common offender to this tell me a story and I'll tell you a solution is the No Estimates paradigm. Estimates are conjectured to be the smell of dysfunction. No dysfunctions are named, but suggesting we can make decisions with No Estimates is the solution. Besides violating the principles of Microeconomics, not knowing the outcomes of our work in the presence of uncertainty means we have an open loop control system. With Open Loop we don't know where we're going, we don't know if we're getting there, and we don't know when we're done. This in turn lays the groundwork for the Top Four Root Causes of project failure listed above.

  1. The performance expectations are just that - unsubstantiated  expectations. What is the system capable of doing? Since the system under development is not developed yet, we have to make an estimate. This is an engineering problem. What's the model of the systems functions? How do those elements interact. There are simple ways to do this. There are tools used for more complex systems. Mathematics for Dynamic Modeling is a good start for those complex projects.
  2. Unrealistic Cost and Schedule estimates are very common. Any business that's going to stay in business needs to know something about the cost to develop it's products and when that cost will turn into revenue. This is the very core of business decision making. Poor estimating is a Root Cause of many project failures. Estimating Software Intensive Systems, Projects, Products, and Processes  is a good place to start.
  3. Inadequate risk assessment many times means ZERO risk assessment. What could possibly go wrong, let's just get started. Agile is billed as a risk management process. It is not. It provides information to the risk management process, but it alone is not risk management. Continuous Risk Management Guidebook is a starting place for managing risks. As Tim Lister says Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects.
  4. Unanticipated technical issues are part of all projects. Managing in the presence of uncertainty deals with both programmatic and technical uncertainty. Both are present in the Top 4 Root Causes. As a result of risk management, these technical issues may or may not be revealed. The uncertainties found on projects are reducible and irreducible. For reducible uncertainty we need to spend money to buy down the resulting risk. For irreducible uncertainty we need margin. Both these require we make estimates because they are both about outcomes in the future. Here's a start to managing in the presence of uncertainty.

So here's the punch line. Dealing directly with the Top 4 Root Causes of project failure starts with making estimates. Estimates of the probability of meeting the expected performance goals, when they are needed for project success. 

Estimates of cost and schedule to assure we have enough money, or the cost is not more than the revenue, and that doing to work for the needed cost will show up on the needed time so our revenue stream will pay back that cost. Showing up late and over budget, even with a working product is not project success.

Estimates of risk are the very basis of risk management - managing like an adult. What could go wrong requires we estimate the probability of the risk occurring or the probability distribution function of the natural variances, the probability of impact, the probability of the effectiveness of our mitigation, and the probability of any residual risk.

Unanticipated technical issues are harder. But if we know anything about the technical domain, we can come up with some problems that can be solved before they become problems. This is called Design. If we now nothing about the technical domain, nothing about how to deliver a solution for the customer, nothing about the cost to provide that solution - we're the wrong people on the project. 

 

Related articles Information Technology Estimating Quality Populist Books Can Be Misleading Are Estimates Really The Smell of Dysfunction? Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty
Categories: Project Management

Thinking, Talking, Doing on the Road to Improvement

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 19:54

When there is a discussion around making improvements to anything, trouble starts when we don't have a shared understanding of the outcomes. For example, speculating that something can be done or that something should be stopped in pursuit of improvement has difficulty maintaining traction in the absence of a framework for that discussion.

The discussion falls into he said, she said style or I'll tell you a story (anecdote) of how this worked for me and it'll work for you.

Over the years I've been trained to work on proposals, provide training materials, write guidance documents, and other outlets - PodCasts, conference presentations - all designed to convey a new and sometimes controversial topic. Connecting agile and earned value management is the latest.

There are several guides that have formed the basis of my work. The critical success factor for this work is to move away from personal anecdotes - although those are many time used inside a broader context to make the message more personal. Rather start with a framework for the message. 

A good place to start is Cliff Atkinson's Beyond Bullet Points. It's not so much the making of Power Point briefings, but the process of sorting through what are you trying to say. Version 1 of the book is my favorite, because it was simple and actually changed how we thought about communication. Here's a framework from Cliff's 1st edition.

There is a deeper framework though. Our daughter is a teacher and she smiled when I mentioned one time, we're starting to use Bloom's Taxonomy for building our briefing materials that are designed to change how people do there work. Dad, I do that every week, it's called a lesson plan.  Here's an approach we use, from revised Blooms Handout. Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.58.17 AMWhen we start a Pod Cast effort, any information conveyance efforts, we start by asking - what will the listener, attender, reader be able to do when they go back to their desk or place of work. The picture below helps us avoid the open ended taking out your brain and playing with it syndrome. This is the basis of Actionable Outcomes. Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.59.20 AM

So when we hear about we're exploring or all we want is a conversation and at the same time the suggestion - conjecture actually - that what we're talking about is a desire to change an existing paradigm, make some dysfunction go away, take some correcrtive action - ask some importanrt questions:

  • Is this a framework for discussing these topics? Are we trying ti understand the problem before applying a solution?¬†
  • When applying the solution based on the understanding, is there any way to assess the effectiveness of the solution? Is this solution applicable beyond our personal anecdotal experience?
  • Cam we analyze the outcomes of the solution applied to the problem and determine if the solution results in correcting the problem?
  • Do we have some means of evaluating this effectiveness? What are the units of measure by which we can confirm this effectiveness. Anecdotes aren't evidence.
  • And finally can this solution be syndicated outside the personal experience? That is are our problem areas subject to the same solution?
Related articles Capabilities Based Planning Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis Applying the Right Ideas to the Wrong Problem The Art of Systems Architecting Are Estimates Really The Smell of Dysfunction? Strategy is Not the Same as Operational Effectiveness
Categories: Project Management

Estimating and Making Decisions in Presence of Uncertainty

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 18:03

There is a nice post from Trent Hone on No Estimates. This triggered some more ideas about why we estimates, what the root cause of the problem #NoEstimates is trying to solve and a summary of the problem

A Few Comments

All project work is probabilistic, driven by the underlying statistical uncertainties. These uncertainties are of two types - reducible and irreducible. Reducible uncertainty is driven by the lack of information. This information can be increased with direct work. We can "buy down" the uncertainty, with testing, alternative designs, redundancy. Reducible uncertainty is "event based." Your power outage for example. DDay being pushed one day by weather.

Irreducible uncertainty is just "part of the environment." It's the natural varaibility embedded in all project work. The "vibrations" of all the variables. This is handled by Margin. Schedule margin, cost margin, technical margin.

Here's an approach to "managing in the presence of uncertainty"

For my experience in Software Intensive Systems in a variety of domains (ERP, Realtime embedded systems, defense, space, nuclear power, pulp and paper, New Drug Development, heavy manufacturing, and more) #NE is a reaction to Bad Management. This inverts the Cause and Effect model of Root Cause Analysis. The conjecture that "estimates are the smell of dysfunction" without stating the dysfunction, the corrective action for that dysfunction, applying that corrective action, then reassessing the conjecture is a hollow statement. So the entire notion of #NE is a house built on sand.

Lastly the Microeconomics of decision making in SWDev in the presence of uncertainty means estimating is needed to "decide" between alternatives - opportunity costs. This paradigm is the basis of any non-trivial business governance process

No Estimates is a solution looking for a problem to solve.

Categories: Project Management

Estimating Processes in Support of Economic Analysis

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 03:34

On any project with significant Value at Risk Economic Analysis provides visibility to the data needed for decision making. This Value at Risk paradigm is a critical starting point for applying all processes of decision making. The choice of decision process must be matched to the opportunity cost (actually the value of the loss for the alternative not chosen).

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 3.30.13 PM

  1. Objective - what capabilities need to be produced by this project which the customer will value (in some useful units of measure)? These objectives can be easily described by Capabilities of the Outcomes. Features, stories, requirements are of little use to the customer if they do not directly enable a capabilities to accomplish the business mission or vision. The customer bought the capability, not the feature.
  2. Assumptions and Constraints - there are always assumptions. These are conditions in place that impact the project. 
  3. Alternatives - there is always more than one way to do something. What are costs for each alternatives? 
  4. Benefits - what are the measurable benefits for this work? It can be monetary. It can be some intangible benefit.
  5. Costs - what will it cost to produce the value to be delivered to the customer? Along with this cost, what resources are needed? What schedule are these resources available?
  6. Rank Alternatives - with this information we can rank the alternatives in some objective manner. These measures can be assessment of effectiveness or 
  7. Sensitivity and Risk Analysis - tradeoffs are always probabilistic in nature, since all project work is probabilistic in nature. Rarely if ever are the single value non-varying numbers. This is the case only when the work is complete and no more activities are being performed. These actual values are useful, but they can be used for making future decisions only if there past performance statistical behaviors are collected. This is the Flaw of Averages problem. No average has value without know the variance.
  8. Make a decision - with all this information we can now make decisions. Of course the information about the past can be used and of course there is information about the future. Both are probabilistic nature.

With these probabilistic outcomes driven by the underlying statistical process of all project work, we need to be able to estimate all the values of the random variables and their impact on the processes above.   

Next is an example of applying this probabilistic decision making in the presence of uncertainty for cost and schedule assessment. This can be for other probabilistic variables on the project. Technical Performance Measures, Measures of Effectiveness, Measures of Performance, Key Performance Parameters, and many other ...ilities (maintainability, supportability, survivability, etc.)

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 4.51.42 PM

Related articles What Happened to our Basic Math Skills? Information Technology Estimating Quality Making Decisions In The Presence of Uncertainty What's the Smell of Dysfunction?
Categories: Project Management

Applying the Right Ideas to the Wrong Problem

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 20:58

Sistine1In the project management business we have numerous methods, process, tools, and techniques to plan and execute project. When we search for tools, processes, and practices. 

Project success starts with a simple principle. We have to Know What Done looks like before we start.

In  Michelangelo's painting to the left, the two fingers are not touching. In the paradigm of a deity this may be sufficient to complete the job. In our our mortal world this is a nice example of almost done. 

It's more than common that we are stuck at 90% complete for a long time after the planned completion date. There are several independent variables here that are the sources of this problem. 

  • The estimated and then planned completion date and the associated budget are incorrect - because they are not credible. So arriving late and over budget is the outcome, since the confident in the actual data and budget was low on day one. We're steering to the wring target.
  • The execution of the credible¬†Performance Measurement Baseline is flawed. We can't stay on schedule, budget, or technical performance targets.¬†Why lots of the reasons, but the plan is good but we can't execute.
  • The plans and execution churn too much. The target is moving.

So What's a Project Manager to Do?

Here are six steps to creating a credible picture of what done looks like and execution to that understanding.

  1. Define the work in terms of products or services that must be delivered to implement the needed capabilities from the project.
  2. Build a strategy showing how each of the deliverables will be produced and how these deliverables will increase in their maturity as time passes.
  3. Identify the reducible risks for each of the deliverables and the work needed to reduce this risk and the measures of this risk reduction to assure they are handled.
  4. Build plan of the order of the work that provides the increasing maturity according to the strategy.
  5. Identify the irreducible risks and margins needed to protect the project from the unfavorable variances that arise. This means schedule margin, cost margin, and technical margin.
  6. Baseline this information and apply change controls so variances can be used to produce corrective actions.

These six steps can be applied to any project management or product development approach from agile to formal DOD acquisition. 

The key here is to connect the Programmatic performance (cost and schedule) with the Technical performance of the project, measure the variances of actuals to plan and take corrective actions to get back on plan or better yet stay on plan. 

 

Categories: Project Management

Strategy is Not the Same as Operational Effectiveness

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 16:57

It is common to confuse strategy with operational effectiveness. Strategy for Information Technology (IT) projects contains three major themes. These  form the foundation of the IT Strategy as well as the tactical processes that will be deployed in support of these strategies.

  • Business improvements are enabled by Information Technology that is integrated not disintegrated. This integration must be horizontal versus vertical. Horizontal systems remove islands of information and build bridges between the business units. In this integrated system, multiple data sources are made transparent to the end users as well as the applications that utilize them.
  • Information Technology requirements are always growing, changing, and being extended. The Information Technology is no longer static, but dynamic, adapting to the changing business requirements.
  • Information Technology is about abstractions. If hardware, software and data were the only foundations of a system, then Information Technology would not be able to keep pace with the business requirements. Instead, business processes, objects and services are the foundation of the system, which then drives the business process in their adaptation of the changing market forces.

What Is Strategy?

Strategy is creating fit among a company‚Äôs activities. The success of a strategy depends on doing many things well ‚Äď not just a few. The things that are done well must operate within a close nit system. If there is no fit among the activities, there is no distinctive strategy and little to sustain the strategic deployment process. Management then reverts to the simpler task of overseeing independent functions. When this occurs operational effectiveness determines the relative performance of the organization.¬†[1]

Improving operational effectiveness is a necessary part of management, but it is not strategy. In confusing the two, managers will be unintentionally backed into a way of thinking about the business environment that drives the business processes (IT) away from the strategic support and toward the tactical improvement of operational effectiveness.

Managers must be able to clearly distinguish operational effectiveness from strategy. Both are essential, but the two agendas are different. The operational effectiveness agenda involves continual improvement business processes that have no trade‚Äďoffs associated with them. The operational effectiveness agenda is the proper place for constant change, flexibility, and relentless efforts to achieve best practices. In contrast, the strategic agenda is the place for making clear tradeoffs and tightening the fit between the participating business components. Strategy involves the continual search for ways to reinforce and extend the company‚Äôs position in the market place.

The concept of fit among functional units is one of the oldest ideas in strategy. Gradually however, it has been supplanted with new concepts of core competencies, critical resources and key success factors. In fact fit is far more critical to the success of the IT systems than realized. [3] Strategic fit among the various systems components and the business processes they support is fundamental not only to competitive advantage but also to the sustainability of that advantage.

Fit among a company’s activities creates pressures and incentives to improve operational effectiveness. Fit means that poor performance in one activity will degrade performance in others, so that weaknesses are exposed drawing management’s attention. Conversely, with increasing fit, improvements of one activity will pay dividends in other areas.

The challenge now is to create fit among the IT components and their matching business components.

Building A Strategy

To define our Vision, Strategic Objectives, Performance Goals, Critical Success Factors in achieving those, and the measures of effectiveness and performance in pursuit of those strategic goals and objectives, we need a method that collects all of these in a single place. 

If we are going to make tradeoffs in pursuit of strategy, we need to know what those tradeoffs are, how much will be the opportunity cost for each trade and how each trade impacts our strategic decision making.

To dive into the details, to make those opportunity cost tradeoffs about future outcomes in the presence of uncertainty we must of course ESTIMATE. There can be no execution of the strategy without make estimates of the benefits of the outcomes of the project that delivers the capabilities that implement the strategy.

The Balanced Scorecard presentation below shows how to build the strategy. Page 49 - 52 shows how to connect the dots between strategy and project execution, where the work is done, at or below the planned cost, on or before the needed time, and with the planned effectiveness and performance of the delivered capabilities. Showing up late, over budget, and with missing capabilities will not enable the strategy to fulfill it's mission and vision. It's a closed loop system - all parts must work in combination for success.

 

[1]¬†‚ÄúWhat is Strategy,‚ÄĚ M. E. Porter, Harvard Business Review, Volume 74, Number 6, pp. 61‚Äď78.

Jack Welch Speaks: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest Business Leader, J. Welch and J. C. Lowe, John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will: Lessons in Mastering Change‚ÄďFrom the Principles Jack Welch Used to Revolutionize GE, N. M. Tichy and S. Sherman, Harpers Business, 1994.

Related articles Information Technology Estimating Quality Capabilities Based Planning What Happened to our Basic Math Skills? Systems Thinking, System Engineering, and Systems Management Making Decisions In The Presence of Uncertainty Everything I Learned About PM Came From a Elementary School Teacher
Categories: Project Management

Are Estimates Really The Smell of Dysfunction?

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 16:48

The #NoEstimates advocates have asked us to see estimates as a smell: an indication of possible decision making dysfunction. It might be useful to explore what's causing the smell.

In the normal business process world, when we encounter a dysfunction, Root Cause Analysis is an approach to discover the cause and effects of the dysfunction.

Since the Primary Effect is described as dysfunction but not stating what this dysfunction is, let's apply RCA in the form of the Apollo Method to the statement of the #NoEstimates advocates. 

But first some background on RCA and the Apollo Method.

What are some dysfunctions of software development management caused by the need to estimate?:
  • Inability to estimate when the project will complete, how much it will cost when complete, and what capabilities will be delivered at completion and along the way that meet the business plan.
  • Misuse of estimates.
  • Abuse of estimates.
  • Cost of estimates not appropriate for the¬†Value at Risk.

It's been suggested that asking 5 Whys is a place to start. It is well understood that simply asking may be necessary but far from sufficient to discover the Root Cause of any dysfunction. Source of the problem with the 5 Whys approach starts with our natural story telling approach to problem solving.

Finding the source of any dysfunction is straightforward:

  1. For each Primary Effect - in this case Management Dysfunction - ask why
    • Just asking why is necessary but not sufficient
    • The answer needs to have a connect to the Primary Effect - the dysfunction
    • Estimates are hard - without a traceable connection to the dysfunction, suggesting ¬†stopping estimates will remove the dysfunction is nonsense. Stopping them has no good reason, other that¬†estimates are hard.
    • This is like asking your young child to eat their peas.¬†I don't like them,¬†Why,¬†Because they taste bad,¬†Why, because I don't like them.
  2. Look for Causes in actions and conditions
    • Find a condition from the Event. What has to be in place for the Event to take place?
    • Find an action for the Event. What was actually¬†DONE to cause the primary event?
    • The only value of knowing if a cause is an action or a condition is that it tells us which¬†
  3. Connect all the causes with a caused by association
    • Connect all these in some form to see the causal linkage between the Action and Conditions and the Primary Event.
  4. Support each cause with evidence 
    • Here's the hard part and where the #NoEstimates advocate fall flat on their face.¬†
    • Show evidence that the existence of estimating and resulting estimates (good or bad) are the CAUSE of the dysfunction.¬†
    • Then and here's the really hard part in the RCA paradigm - show that the correction action will actually remove the Primary Effect.
    • Show that by not estimating the Management Dysfunction is removed.

None  is this is in palce for the #NoEstimates conjecture that estimates are the smell of dysfunction. 

So unless we have some understanding of the Dysfunction, conjecturing that estimates are the smell and the Not Estimating will remove the dysfunction has little chance of actual success.

No Estimates is a solution looking for a problem to solve. And to date that problem has not been identified, and most importantly the conjecture that Not Estimating fixes the problem has no tangible evidence to confirm it will fix the problem.

Related articles The Dysfunctional Approach to Using "5 Whys" Who's Budget is it Anyway? Mr. Franklin's Advice
Categories: Project Management

Capabilities Based Planning - Part 2

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 15:31

With the principles of Capabilities Based Planning in place from the previous post, here's how to implement it.

The key here is to have a capabilities delivery map in place showing what capabilities need to be delivered in what sequence for what cost to enable the business to receive the planned value in exchange for the cost to produce those capabilities. 

Here's an actual example for capabilities delivery. Each capabilities arrives with its dependent capabilities to provide the needed value to the business. This value enables the bsuienss to do something of value in support of the business strategy and the planned revenue that results from the cost to produce that value

If we're managing the project by producing Stories in aAgile, or fulfilling Requirements in traditional process, we don't actually know what DONE looks like other that are spend of money and passage of time. This is a critical issue in the enterprise software development domain. Fulfilled requirements, tested and running stories may or may not be the needed capabilities to meet the business strategy. Without a Capabilities Based Planning map like the one above there is no way to tell. Related articles Capabilities Based Planning Systems Thinking, System Engineering, and Systems Management What's the Smell of Dysfunction?
Categories: Project Management

Humpty Dumpty and #NoEstimates

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 23:47

Humpty-Dumpty--010When I use a word Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, it means just what I choose to to mean - neither more nor less.

The question is, said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.

The question is said Humpty Dumpty which is to be master.

Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6

The mantra of #NoEstimates is that No Estimates is not about Not Estimating. Along with that oxymoron comes

Forecasting is Not Estimating

  • Forecasting the future based on past performance is not the same as estimating the future from past performance.
  • The Humpty Dumpty logic is Forecasting ‚ȆEstimating.

This of course redefines the standard definition of both terms. Estimating is a rough calculation or judgment of a value, number, quantity, or extent of some outcome. 

An estimate is Approximation, prediction, or projection of a quantity based on experience and/or information available at the time, with the recognition that other pertinent facts are unclear or unknown.

  • Let‚Äôs estimate how many Great Horned Owls are in the county by sampling.
  • Let‚Äôs estimate to the total cost of this project using reference classes assigned to work element duration and running a Monte Carlo simulation

Forecasting is a prediction of a future event

  • Let‚Äôs produce weather forecast for the next five days

Both Estimating and Forecasting result in a probabilistic output in the presence of uncertainty

Slicing is Not Estimating??

Slicing work into smaller pieces so that "standard" size can be used to project the work effort and completion time. This is a standard basis of estimate in many domains. So slicing is Not Estimating in the #NoEstimates paradigm. In fact slicing is Estimating, another inversion of the term
No means Yes

Past Performance is #NoEstimates

using Past Performance to estimate future performance is core to all estimating processes. Time series used to estimate possible future outcomes is easily done with AIRMA, 4 lines of R, and some raw data as shown in The Flaw of Averages. But as described there, care is needed to confirm the future is like the past.

When We Redefine Words to Suite Our Needs We're Humpty Dumpty

Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland is political allegory of 19th century England. When #NoEstimates redefines established mathematical terms like Forecasting and Estimating and ignores the underlying mathematics for time series forecasting, ARIMA for example, they are willfully ignoring established practices and replacing them with their own untested conjectures.

No Estimates

Key here ways to make decisions with NO ESTIMATES. OK, show how that is not actually an estimating technical, no matter how simple or flawed and estimating technical.

Related articles Mr. Franklin's Advice There is No Such Thing as Free The Fallacy of the Planning Fallacy Do The Math Monte Carlo Simulation of Project Performance Essential Reading List for Managing Other People's Money
Categories: Project Management

Capabilities Based Planning

Tue, 07/07/2015 - 18:31

Over the years the success rate of traditional project management methods applied to software development projects has been underwhelming. ¬†Traditional project management methods are based on a retrospective approach, which measures variance against plan rather than providing a performance‚Äďforecast that can be used to guide projects in a chaotic environment. [1]¬†There are a number of programmatic control issues associated with IT projects that suggest a better approach is needed. [2]

Using this linear project planning paradigm ‚Äď sometimes referred to as waterfall ‚Äď but often derived from PMBOK linear style planning processes ‚Ästthere is little attention given to the forces that negatively impact the project. These project risks have no means of evaluation other than to acknowledge their presence, define mitigations and track the results. The impact on the business value of the capabilities of the system is not part of the project management process.

Capabilities Based Planning is anchored on producing Enterprise and Software Intensive Systems focused on strategic outcomes. Progress  is measured through assessment of the effectiveness and performance of the deliverables in meeting those strategic objectives. This approach assures business value is connected with the strategy not just measures of the passage or time and consumption of money and the production of technical features. 

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 8.19.02 AM

In this approach avoiding or controlling change becomes the primary activity of project management. In this traditional model change is undesirable. In reality of business systems development, change is not only natural it is desirable. It is through change that the system can adapt to the needs of the business, which are themselves driven by external forces. These forces are rarely under the control of the project manager let alone the senior management of the business.

One project failure mode is when the participants and leaders of the project fail to recognize the difference between managing in the presence of change and managing change. It is managing in the presence of change that is a critical success factor of any modern business systems development.

Definition of Capability-Based Planning

‚Äú‚Ķ involves a functional analysis of operational requirements. Capabilities are identified based on the tasks required‚Ķ Once the required capability inventory is defined, the most cost effective and efficient options to satisfy the requirements are sought.‚ÄĚ

What Are Capabilities and Why Are They Better at Describing Maturity?

Measuring project and product maturity as a function of effort and time assures that project management adds value to the business. Simply controlling and measuring the expenditure of resources ‚Äď score keeping ‚Äď provides little value in the presence of change. We need measures in units meaningful to the decision makers. Physical Percent complete needs to be measured as increasing Effectiveness and Performance, with decreasing Risk to increase the Probability of Project Success.

Capabilities‚Äďbased planning provides a defined outcome that is not a final conclusion but lays the groundwork for the continued delivery of value. Objectives are reached and the operational value delivered when a defined capability is available for use.¬† Features and functions describe the static and dynamic behaviors of a system, but they are not directly connected to the business strategy. Milestones indicate that a position in a timeline has been reached, but do not forecast what value will be delivered to the business or how this value is traceable to the needs of the user community. Capabilities provide the answer to the following question: in order to achieve our objectives, what capabilities must we possess? [3]

Capabilities‚Äďbased planning transforms the delivery of features and functions into the delivery of processes that support a business strategy. Capabilities‚Äďbased planning is planning, under the conditions of uncertainty, to provide capabilities suitable for a wide range of business challenges and circumstances, while working within an economic framework. This approach emphasizes flexibility, adaptiveness, and robust capabilities, implying a modular building‚Äďblock approach to the delivery of enterprise applications.¬†

Capabilities are not the same as features and functions; they enable demands to be met without explicit specification of the solution. A capability is the ability to affect an outcome, react to an input, or change an effect.

A capability provides an outcome or an effect without an a priori specification. Features and functions require an a priori specification in order to test for their existence or conformance to the specification. Capabilities‚Äďbased planning can be understood at the execution level, but it needs to be raised to the level of enterprise process analysis:

Identify a needed capability in operational terms, using the set of capability options to assess the effectiveness in an operations paradigm, and make choices about requirements and the ways to achieve the capability using an integrated portfolio framework to produce an output set of options based on these operational paradigms. 

Putting capabilities‚Äďbased planning to work requires a change in our approach to planning ‚ÄĒ a set of business process improvement activities focused on assessing increasing maturity of the capabilities needed to fulfill the strategic objectives. Emphasis is placed on operational capabilities rather than features and functions. These operational capabilities become the building blocks of change. The emphasis is also placed on evaluating capabilities under conditions of uncertainty, which requires the deployment of robust building blocks capable of adapting to these changes. In both cases, analysis illuminates the feasibility of alternatives.¬†

Augmenting Our Strategy‚ÄďMaking with Capabilities

Strategy‚Äďmaking is the starting point for project management. It asks and answers the question why are we doing this?¬† Strategy making activities can be augmented through a capabilities‚Äďbased planning process by mapping strategies to the assessment of maturity evaluation points for each of the emerging capabilities. This approach connects the why of a project with the how. The result is the replacement of the measurement of progress as the passage of time with the measurement of progress as the delivery of capabilities.

Capabilities‚Äďbased planning focuses on assessing the increasing maturity of functionality defined by the strategy. Planning under uncertainty provides capabilities suitable for a wide range of challenges and circumstances while working within an economic framework that necessitates choice, where the focus is on ‚Äúpossible uses‚ÄĚ rather than specified features and functions.¬† Connecting Capabilities to Strategy can be done in the following manner. ¬† Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 8.32.26 AM

What’s Next?

With a set of capabilities in mind, a plan for delivering the capabilities is needed. One approach to building this plan is an Event‚ÄďBased integrated master schedule. This has been discussed in the past, but the next article will describe the details on how to build such a schedule; derived from the capabilities.

[1] Wharton Strategic Management, ‚ÄúThree Reasons Why Good Strategies Fail: Execution, Execution, ‚Ķ‚ÄĚ 10 August 2005.

[2] ‚ÄúUncertainty and Project Management: Beyond the Critical Path Mentality,‚ÄĚ Arnoud de Meyer, INSEAD Working Paper, 2001.

[3]¬†‚ÄúAnalytical Architecture for Capabilities‚ÄďBased Planning, Mission‚ÄďSystem Analysis, and Transformation,‚ÄĚ Paul K. Davis, RAND National Defense Research Institute, MR‚Äď1513‚ÄďOSD, 2002.

Categories: Project Management

What's the Smell of Dysfunction?

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 16:14

There's a popular meme going around that asking for estimates and making estimates is the smell of dysfunction. We can assume it's management dysfunction. So what are the dysfunctions of management that they ask for estimates from those spending their money to produce value in exchange?

Turns out there a few obvious ones, when we consider Dilbert-style management.

  • Commitment to a probabilistic number as if it were a point number.¬†
  • Punishment of developers for not meeting their estimates?

But this is bad management. Obvious to everyone who has ever attended a probability and statistics class in their engineering, computer science, or hard science education. 

So maybe the first dysfunction is those conjecturing estimating is the smell of dysfunction is they don't understand the underlying mathematics of making estimates in the presence of uncertainty. This includes both management and those spending the money provided by management.

Since there is no domain, context, framing assumptions, or principles stated by those conjecturing estimates are the smell of dysfunction let's look at one set of principles of writing software for money - other peoples money.

5 Immutable Principles

If we look for the root cause of projects going wrong, let's see how not following the 5 Principles can be a source of the dysfunction.

What Does Done Look Like?

Is there some notion of what capabilities the customer - those paying - need when we're done spending their money? Is there some units of measure of Done that are meaningful to those paying? If the answer is no, then we're likely to have little value for estimates, no matter the quality of the estimate. 

The smell of dysfunction is proceed to spend money without knowing what done looks like in any meaningful units of measure for those providing the money

What's the Path to Done?

Do we have any notion of the order of work to be performed? Let's assume there is some dependency in this work. The agile notion of INVEST must be tested first. Any non-trivial project has interdependencies. If there are non, then the work must be simple enough that all the pieces act independently from each other. No order of production, no order of operations, no order of use. 

The smell of dysfunction is not having a strategy to reach done on of before the need date for the capabilities that will earn back the investment for the money provided by those paying for your work.

Do We Have Enough Resources to Get to Done?

We need time, money, and resources to produce business value in exchange for the money we've been given. How much money? How much time? What resources?

The smell of dysfunction is not knowing how much of work will cots in the end to some level of confidence. Not knowing when we'll be done to some level of confidence. Our not knowing of what we've been asked to produce for that money and time will actually provide the needed capabilities those paying are expecting.

What Impediments Will We Encounter Along the Way?

All projects have uncertainty. Uncertainty produces risk. Managing in the presence of uncertainty means managing in the presence of risk.

Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects - Tim Lister

Uncertainty comes in two forms reducible (epistemic) and irreducible (aleatory). Reducible uncertainty and its associated risk can be bought down. How much risk, what is the cost to buy it down? That means estimating. 

Irreducible uncertainty and its associated risk cannot be bought down. We need margin - cost margin, schedule margin, technical margin to protect the project from this unfavorable outcome. How much margin? We need an estimate. For both reducible and irreducible uncertainty answering that question comes easily with a Monte Carlo Simulation.

The smell of dysfunction is not having a risk model for all the project work. Not have estimating for the probability of occurance of an event based risks. Not have a Probability Distribution Function of of the naturally occurring variance of irreducible work - duration, cost, performance.

How Are We Going To Measure Progress to Plan?

To measure progress we need a plan. Then we need some assessment of phsycal percent complete. This measurement is an ideal paradigm for agile. Working products that meet the measures of effectiveness, measures of performance, technical performance measures, ley performance parameters are ways to assure what we produced actually does what is needed by those who are paying.

To start with a target to steer toward we need to estimate what are the possible outcomes of the project. That is what are the achievable goals in measures of Effectiveness and Performance. With this starting point and measures of actual performance we can create a error signal used to Close Loop Control to tag corrective actions to steer toward our target. The target can change of course, and many time does.

With the probabilistic target and the actual measurement we have an Open Loop Control system, which provides no steering signal and results in we'll be done when we're done, we'll spend what we spend, and you'll get what you get,. Could be better than planned, could be worse than plan - don't know.

The smell of dysfunction is to not have a probabilistic steering target developed from past performance and models of future performance. Without this model we are operating open loop. Not steering target that can be corrected with actual performance information., But more importantly not steering target telling what our performance must be to meet the business goals of the project. 

So Want To Talk About Smells?

Tangible evidence of dysfunction is needed. Variance analysis needed. Tangible corrective actions needed. 

Exploring is none of these. Exploring is talking about fixing the smell. Talking and exploring doesn't fix the dysfunction.  Looking for waste in the Muda sense - this is Muda. Do something tangible. Measure the result. Compare to plan. Make corrections to both action and plan - closed loop. Repeat till success.

Stop exploring - do something constructive. Correct the dysfunctions with actionable outcomes. 

In The End

Conjecturing to NOT do something without first identifying the root cause of the smell is Open Loop decision making.

Conjecturing to NOT do something without saying what that something is so it can be tested is of little value to those paying money that need real help to increase the probability of success of their work efforts.

Conjecturing to explore has little value to those seeking actionable corrections to the problems. Exploring means o real commitment to improve. We're just wandering around looking under rocks for interesting ideas. Having someone pay for that is called pure research. Business that produces products and services in exchange for money are looking for value to result from their investment.  

Related articles What Happened to our Basic Math Skills? Systems Thinking, System Engineering, and Systems Management Making Decisions In The Presence of Uncertainty Everything I Learned About PM Came From a Elementary School Teacher The Art of Systems Architecting How We Make Decisions is as Important as What We Decide. Information Technology Estimating Quality
Categories: Project Management

Populist Books Can Be Misleading

Sun, 07/05/2015 - 21:32

Populist books provide an important role in the processes of "thinking about things." They are simple, understandable in ways that resonant with the those not familiar with a topic, and are hopefully gateway sources to then next level of understanding. Populist books have a down-side as well. They are usually simplified versions of the underlying topic, devoid of the details, which unfortunately have mathematics that may be beyond the casual reader.

I've written about the issues with populist books before. There is a new set of issues that needs to be addressed. The Think Fast Act Slow book is a recent example of a populist book. It has useful materials, but leaves out all the ground work and heavy lifting needed to put these ideas to work. 

In graduate school, there are several things you learn before starting your thesis work. Do a literature search. You're bright idea may have already been done. Or worse your bright idea is a cockamamy idea on day one. If everyone tells you it's a cockamamy idea, you may be able to show the world they're wrong. To do that you need to get through a peer review and a test of your idea by strangers using actual data that holds up to ruthless testing by others. There have been a few of those, most have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

So if you hear some idea that doesn't quite make sense, ask for the data that supports that idea, so you can do independent testing. Better yet if that idea is an obvious violating of the basic principles - either of physics (cold fusion) or of economics (#NoEstimates) ask those proposing the idea for direct evidence of its applicability that can also be independently tested.

Here's a list of supporting papers need to put the populist ideas to work from my library. Goggle will find these for you:

  • Anchoring and Adjustment in Software Estimation, Jorge Aranda and Steve Easterbook
  • Judgement under Uncertainty Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman
  • The Fragile Basic Anchoring Effect, Noel Brewer and Gretchen Chapman
  • The Anchoring-and-Adjustment Heuristic Nicholas Epley and Thomas Gilovich
  • Review of¬†¬†Tversky and ¬†Kahneman (1974): Judgement under uncertainty: Heuristics and Baises
  • Reference points and redistribution preferences: Experiment evidence, Jimmy Cjarrit√©, Raymond Fisman, and Ilyana Kuziemko
  • Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability,¬†Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman
  • Attention and Effort,¬†Daniel Kahneman
  • Assessing Range of Probabilities, Strategic Decision and Risk Management, Stanford Certificate Program,¬†Decision Analysis for the Professional, Chapter 12.
  • Anchoring Unbound, Nicholas Epley and Thomas Gilovich
  • Anchoring and Adjustment in Software Project Management: An Experimental Investigation, Timothy Costello, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

These are a small sample of the background that needs to be examined after read the populist book.

With this example, you can move beyond populist ideas - no matter how valid - to technical ideas and start putting them to work and testing the outcomes for their efficacy in your domain.

Here's a starting point for that effort in Populist versus Technical View of Problems 

And remember

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 2.29.57 PM

Categories: Project Management

Happy 4th of July

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 20:10

Semper Fidelis to all my colleagues and friends. Wait till minute 3:57 

Categories: Project Management