Contributions for August Issue of The Best Practice Magazine:
Definition of - PMW (Planning & Managing Work); EST (Estimating), PLAN (Planning) & MC (Monitor & Control)
PMW This CA involves determining the amount of work that needs to be done, planning and scheduling work, and then ensuring the work is being done in accordance with the plans and schedules. It also ensures that resources are adequate to meet the plan and schedule.
Estimating includes forecasting the size, effort, and cost of the work required to develop, acquire, or deliver the solution.
Using the estimates to develop a work plan, schedule, and budget.
Determining the necessary resources to accomplish the plan, within schedule and budget.
Obtaining commitment to the work plan from stakeholders.
Monitor and Control provides an understanding of progress so appropriate corrective actions can be taken when performance deviates significantly from the plan, schedule, and budget.
As described in Part 1 of this article series, the purpose of project monitoring and controlling is to provide an understanding of the project’s progress and also successfully communicating that status. You can, then identify when the project’s performance deviates significantly from the plan so that appropriate corrective actions and preventive actions will be taken. Project activity monitoring is an aspect of project management that is performed throughout the project. Controlling is the aspect of the project in which corrective and preventive actions are taken.
Can you relate to either of these project schedule issues?
a. A manager’s view: Deadlines and estimates are unreliable, and this impacts customer satisfaction and revenue. “We give our teams priorities every week; why don’t they deliver?”
b. A team member’s view: We tell management how much time will be needed, but we are told this is too much, so we hunker down and do our best knowing that all of the issues will come to a head eventually. Then priorities change anyway, so estimates are not really important.
Wow! The lesson I have learned is not to read literature any more. A literature search on “Management, Project Management, and Scrum Master Roles” will make you dizzy, nauseous, and state every possible opinion as the correct one!
The bottom line is that the word “manage” has been around for hundreds of years. When it is not done, either the wrong people have been assigned, the managers or Scrum Masters don’t currently have the skills to “manage,” or they are avoiding the accountability that comes with the role. Don’t worry, all these issues are fixable.
The CONTROL phase is the conclusion of the team's journey. The GB/BB is responsible for a solid hand-off to the Process Owner to maintain the gains.
The final capability is determined and the closing performance and all related changes are documented on the closing contract. This phase is not as statistically intensive as the MEASURE, ANALYZE, and IMPROVE phases.
Many organizations attribute their success to being able to execute their strategic goals and objectives. Execution will be successful if it is measured and if corrective actions are taken at appropriate times when there are deviations. Thus, there has to be a plan that should enable measurement, help track progress and enable corrective action to be taken at the right time to keep the execution on track. One such tool that enables the organization to track its execution is a portfolio/program/project management tool.
Artificial intelligence explained: This article describes and explains the concepts and terminology behind what is today being termed as artificial intelligence. Further, it illustrates how these concepts relate to the field of project management, offering opportunity for better, more effective project planning and control.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
There are many definitions of artificial intelligence or AI. In fact, a Google search today returns 1.18 billion results. One of the funniest definitions I have run across is “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet” – now there’s a vague and unhelpful answer! One of the more useful definitions I have found is “AI is the ability of a computer program or a machine to think and learn. In general use, the term ‘artificial intelligence’ means a machine which mimics human cognition” (wikipedia, 2018). So, machines being able to think and learn seems to be the crux of AI. The way humans think is through what is called cognition (stems from the Latin word for “know” or “recognize”). It is the scientific word for a thought process, the mental action of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought and experience.
The way humans learn is through either observational or associative means. Observational learning is watching others behavior, such as watching your parent drive a car. You learn from watching which levers and switches they push as they drive along. Associative learning, on the other hand, is learning by establishing connections between events. You know you will hear thunder when you see a lightning strike.
Humans make decisions based on thought and learning. We make sound or good decisions based on observational reasoning as well as associative patterns. We also sometimes make bad decisions that we can learn from to make us smarter the next time around. So our thought process gets smarter the more we learn. If a machine can acquire knowledge and understand or recognize it, then it too can start to make informed (and hopefully good) decisions for me. I believe AI is really about a machine being able to make an informed decision that is a sound one. AI is a decision support system (DSS) that helps me make a better decision faster than I could have otherwise made.
In our consulting work with clients across the globe, we’ve been asked umpteen number of times about the best practices in Project Management. At every level of the management hierarchy, individuals want to know the key practices for project success. What’s the best Project management mantra? The sure shot winning formula.
While a whole a lot can be said about effective project management practices and techniques, the one crucial aspect according to us is the project management tool in question. The fundamental question really is whether the project management tool is supporting the new age project manager.
Two forms of Health Check are offered the Silver Appraisal (SCAMPI B) and Gold Appraisal (SCAMPI A).
Both are led by a Certified CMMI® Lead Appraiser supported by trained Appraisal Team Members.
The primary difference between the two types of Health Check is the level of rigor and the fact that the SCAMPI A Appraisal can provide a Capability Level for each of the PMO Process Area in scope, the results can also be published on the CMMI® Institute PARS Site (Published Appraisal Results) if required.
The key deliverable being a report highlighting strengths and opportunities for improvement. This can optionally be expanded into a comprehensive PMO Improvement Plan the implementation of which can be supported by DEMIX Consultants if required.
If your PMO is not adding the value you expected then perform a DEMIX PMO Health Check to find out why!
To find out more or register interest contact Stephen Woods via the email below: