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Five Behaviors That Can Reduce Schedule Risk

Jan 17, 2016

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Five Behaviors That Can Reduce Schedule Risk. Getting Started Today. Craig Peterson, PMP Multi-Discipline System Engineer The MITRE Corporation. Co-Author: C. Leigh Filiatrault, PMP. Today’s Presentation. Today’s presentation is about reducing schedule risk by: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Five Behaviors That Can Reduce Schedule RiskGetting Started TodayCraig Peterson, PMPMulti-Discipline System EngineerThe MITRE Corporation

    Co-Author: C. Leigh Filiatrault, PMP

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    Todays PresentationTodays presentation is about reducing schedule risk by:Identifying and addressing common negative behaviorsImplementing techniques that reinforce positive behaviorsImproving risk managementIt is assumed that project planning, risk management and project schedules have already been implemented.

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    Todays Presentation

    Todays presentation is not about:Providing Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) Training (but there will be a small review)Teaching basic project management techniques Debating traditional project management vs. CCPMUnderlying Principle: There is no substitute for solid project planning, estimating and risk management practices.

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    A Projects GoalCan we all agree that The GoalProject delivers results that satisfy customers

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    What is Seen on Typical ProjectsWhats normal ... Project duration is expanded Scope is sacrificed to meet deadlines Quality is traded off Projects overrun their original budgets Project Tension Pyramid

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    Schedule Estimates Time

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    Why Improvements Not RealizedTasks do not finish early, despite inflated estimatesContingency time is wasted Realize no gains from positive schedule variationsRarely see tasks completing early! Critical Path shifts, causing shifts in project focus MetricsCollects data about the past to predict the future but does nothing to directly insure completion of project on scheduled date

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    Theory of Constraints BasicsAll businesses are systems (dependent events) All systems must have a constraint that limits output, and, therefore, non-constraints have excess capacity System Output = Throughput = Organizations Goal System optimum is not the sum of the local optima Measurements should:induce what is good for the whole (system optima = The Goal)direct managers to parts needing attention

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    Theory of Constraints Basics (cont.)Therefore: Time lost at the constraint is lost forever or Non-constraint improvements = Waste (in two different categories)

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    Theory of Constraints Basics (cont.)Managing the Constraint (The 5 Focusing Steps)IdentifyExploitSubordinateElevatePrevent Inertia Production Management Tool (DBR)Drum - Constraint sets the systems paceBuffer - Never starve the constraint (time lost)Rope - Constraint controls release of new work Measurement Point = DBR (Nothing else is needed)

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    TOC to Critical ChainThe Thinking ProcessOutline the PM processIdentify Failure PointAdd InjectionsTest for sufficiencyCritical Chain is born!

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    Critical Chain & Risk ManagementGoldratt calls Critical Chain an Uncertainty Management Tool Uncertainty does not equal Risk Management here, but . Does build in contingency for low grade risks. Reduced schedule means less time for changes.

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    ProsFocuses on project constraints. Dramatic schedule reductions. Easy project status reporting. MS Project add-on software exists. Does not conflict with other approaches.

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    ConsResourced schedules required. Risks not directly addressed by methodology.Uses buffers to address most risk.Still need to do some other risk planning/tracking. Less detail puts greater burden on task leadership. Must get behavioral changes in place / institutionalized.

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    Take Away PointsEven if not ready to adopt, consider ...

    Manage & protect constraintsProject is the goalDo all see the single goal? What limits progress? Change project team behaviorMetrics affectsWhat is being incentivized?Make new habitsRoadrunner No Multi-Tasking Manage to effort (not )

    Take-away Line: Or instead of adopting take some lessons learned! Lets look at the injections

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    The Five Negative BehaviorsAccording to CCPM, there are Five Common behaviors that appear to support good project management, but are actually, detrimental. They are:Protecting the EstimateManaging to Due Dates verses Estimated Duration (Student Syndrome)Starting Tasks Earlier than NecessaryManaging of Key Resources (Constraint Management)Multitasking Resources Although supportive of generally accepted management practices the five negative behaviors can lead to a projects failure.

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    Behavior 1:Protecting the EstimateDefinition: Consciously or unconsciously adding a safety margin to ensure that a project or task can be completed on time.Assumption: This margin will be added to provide 90+ percent probability of accurate estimation.

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    Correcting Behaviors 1:Protecting the EstimateCCPM advocates:Reduce the estimate to a 50% Probability Add 25% of original estimate to bufferTrack extra time (positive & negative) in bufferAssumption: Negative and positive gains in time balance each other out and the project finishes earlier than the original estimate.

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    Correcting Behaviors 1: Protecting the Estimate Reduce Protecting the Estimate risks by: IDing the risks driving the size of the contingencyReview project planning documentsDiscuss the estimate with the estimator Quantify the risks behind the contingency Develop a risk response plan Control and monitor the risksGoal: Reduce the management reserve or contingency to match the level of risk!

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    Results: Protecting the EstimateCountering Protecting the Estimate reduces risk in non-CCPM projects because:Unknown-unknowns reducedRisks are openly addressedStakeholders can have more confidence in management reserve or project buffers are appropriate for the task or project.Project buffers are equal to their risk

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    Behavior 2:Student SyndromeCCPM also calls this the Student SyndromeDefinition: Failure to focus 100% on a task at the start since the due date is in the future.People tend to focus on the due dates of tasks, not the amount of effort it will take to complete the task.Project participants dont become 100% focuses until the due date is close.The safety margin is consumed early on due to the lack of focus, not the risk events for which it is intend.

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    Correcting Behaviors 2:Student SyndromeUnits of time should be identified to fit goals. Goals should not be fit into units of time.CCPM advocates focusing on task estimates rather than deadlines:Give team members only the work effort estimates, not the due datesAllow only enough time to complete the taskCapture both late tasks and early completions in buffers

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    Correcting Behaviors 2:Student SyndromeTo implement the CCPM theory, managers need to change their behavior by focusing on:Work estimates (days or hours), not due datesHow much effort is required to complete the task, not how much has been completedGiving positive or acceptable reactions to missed estimates (assuming 50% probability)Management must change their own expectations to encourage a change in their teams behavior.

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    Correcting Behaviors 2:Student SyndromeCorresponding to management efforts, team members must be willing to change their work habits by:Working to achieve tasks on time with 50% probabilityAchieving and reporting early completionsWithout supportive team behavior, CCPM theory cannot be executed.

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    Results:Student SyndromeCreating the correct management and teambehaviors will improve the project enhanced by:Enhancing the accuracy of estimatesIdentifying issues and missing information earlyProviding the opportunity to proactively deal with the unexpected

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    Behavior 3:Starting Tasks Too EarlyDefinition: Tasks are started as early as possible, which is often before all the necessary information is known.Dont jump the gun.

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    Correcting Behavior 3:Starting Tasks Too EarlyCCPM advocates starting as late as possible to prevent:Tasks expanding to fill the time allottedReworkStarting too soon leads to rework because: A task is begun with incomplete knowledge Scope changes CCPM does not advocate delay for the sake of delay, but rather delay to begin with clearer information and more confidence.

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    Correcting Behavior 3:Starting Tasks Too EarlyDelaying a task until of the latest possible start date affects Risk Management in two ways:Improves the ability to determine buffer sizes based on:Tasks RiskProject RiskEstablishes expectations for the timeframe of future tasks. To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take frightshows a supreme lack of intelligence Sun Tsu, The Art of War

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    Results:Starting Tasks Too Early Delaying a start date to further clarify a project provides:Significant savings, for even a few tasksDisincentive for work to expand to fill the timeMore flexibility for key resources

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    Behavior 4:Management of Key ResourcesDefinition: Key Resources are the constrained resources on the project.

    Key Resources may be:Physical resource such as tool or machineryA human resource such as an individual with a unique skills A process is not a key resource.

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    Correcting Behaviors 4:Management of Key ResourcesCCPM manages key resources by ensuring that:Tasks Constrained resources perform only those tasks that they alone can uniquely fulfill.Workload Excess work is not built up waiting for the constrained resource.Timing Buffers are used to ensure that the work is ready for the resource and that the resource is ready for the work. Constrained resources should perform only those tasks which can not be performed by other (unconstrained) resources.

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    Correcting Behaviors 4:Management of Key ResourcesEvaluate the allocation of key resources on:Tasks Can alternative resources be applied or can the tasks be completed in another order?Workload

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