Loading Page..

Knowledge Content Library

Stranger in a Strange Land: Decision Support Techniques on the Project Management Planet 

Presented by Bill Haskett, Decision Strategies

This is a case study of the quest of a multi-billion dollar mega-project to bring its cost and schedule variance under control. The standard deterministic advocacy and objective approach to risk management had resulted in consistent failing of project mileposts and what they interpreted as extreme cost overrun. While a complex risk register had been created, initial attempts at uncertainty modeling lacked any sort of Subject Matter Expert de-biasing, valid range estimation with cross-element correlation, or consistent event dependency. Phase-one assistance provided a reliable estimation process, interview skills training of influencers and local decision support personnel, and elicitation of a new ostensibly more valid cost and schedule forecast.

Phase-two had a more tactical bent. A senior decision specialist was placed directly into the Logistics team for a short, too short as it turned out, duration. Initially, the intent was to validate the methodology being used to assess logistical options and to make recommendations as to systems, structure, and personnel. However, it rapidly became apparent that decision support tools and process could make a significant difference. Easy targets within the logistics function included uncertainty enabled impact appraisal to prioritize focus, indifference assessments to relieve repeated advocacy based evaluation effort, and the creation of an internal cross-discipline support structure within the siloed organization.

The Project Management domain offers an entire orchard to low hanging fruit for the DA professional, and tremendous value gain, cost savings, and project efficiency for major capital projects. However it will require commitment from the organization, a willingness to at least partially de-silo, and committed diverse DM (Decision Management) support function that goes beyond the scope of analytics.

Keywords: risk and uncertainty riskunc, project management projman, costs and schedule risk costschedrisk

   Email Print

Stay connected