Sunday, October 12, 2008

Deftly do due diligence

I've come across an excellent posting and a really nice resource for PMs, and I'd like to share both here.

In the PMBOK(R) Guide, a recurring theme, especially in the first few chapters is that of "due diligence" - applying just the right amount of PM science for the size, type, and complexity of the project. It's a great concept but I have always felt robbed of at least some basic techniques, considerations, or guidelines as to HOW to size the PM effort based on what you know about the project.

The posting, by Nathan Ives, is here. It's called The Project Management Intensity Continuum. He's actually since followed up with comments and has promised to follow up with further postings on the site.

The chart above (readable on the site) shows the basic shape of a curve whic plots cost applied to project management against value creation. As you can see, there is a point at which there is actually a decline in value creation as more money is spent. Obviously you want to avoid going past that point. It's still more of an art than a science, but it makes sense to put some effort into this to avoid going over that point.

In summary, Nathan suggests that you ask these questions:

--What value does the project’s output quantifiably offer in both objective and subjective terms?
--What is the current cost of the applied project management?
--If a project management component was eliminated, what would the corresponding change in cost and value be?
--If a project management component was added, what would the corresponding change in cost and value be?

In a follow-up to his posting he mentions these specific considerations:

1. Capital requirements (aligned with the organization’s expenditure approval thresholds)
2. Personnel resource requirements in person hours (correlated on a labor-cost per hour basis to the expenditure approval thresholds)
3. Regulatory risk
4. Business risk
5. Complexity (number of stakeholders – focusing on internal cross-functional and external stakeholders)

Have a read - it's a good posting.

The resource is the site from which this posting is taken: it's called StrategyDriven. The link (here) is the StrategyDriven blog, but they also operate a podcast. Consider both.

So when you have your hand on the PM throttle (that's the reason I used the image above), consider the advice given by Nathan Ives.

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