Monday, May 12, 2014

The Sensible 12: No. 2

2. Planning is critical to success.
The most critical part of a project occurs during the planning stages. A successful project is preceded by careful planning including the identification of the tasks which when executed will meet the vision of the project and deliver value to the customer. The plan should include provisions for impending risks to the project as well as contingency for unknown risks. Additionally, it is wise to be prepared for and be aware that change will be introduced into the project…be prepared to change the plan.
Risk management is usually a tack on to a project, but planning has to include uncertainty: and that gives rise to risk. So the plan on any project of any decent size has to allow for the variability of estimates of cost and time for completion of project activities. The 'contingency' for unknown risks is wishful thinking. We don't know, so how do we allow for it? We can only reasonably allow for what we know of the type of project, but cannot evade the investor's risk that all projects have. It just might not work that way! How could Sony have 'managed' the risk that the market would prefer VHS to Beta video taping?

Planning flows out of project definition and relies on a high degree of certainty of understanding of the capability that is required of the project.

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