• Magnus Vivadeepa

    Hey, cool article! I liked reading it. I wrote an article about project management hurdles, too! Feel free to check it out and leave a comment! 🙂


  • Mihai Buta

    Brad, everything you mention is true and valid.
    I want to comment on first point, risk management, because (a) it is my specialty, (b) you did not mention at all ‘uncertainty’ or ‘common risks’ and (c) it can cover some your second and third point as well.
    What most PM’s fail to do is to not include in their project plans the ‘risk reserves’ for ‘special cause risks’ (your ‘risks’) nor for ‘uncertainty’. Fro this reason, most projects plans have less than 50% confidence.
    The best way to calculate the risk reserves needed is to run Monte Carlo simulation and chose the confidence level you want/need for your project.
    See the presentation at my LinkedIn profile.
    Mihai Buta

    • Donald Shannon

      I 100 percent agree. First things first … costs and durations are estimates. That means they are a single value selected from a possible range of values. If one fails to consider that each cost or duration of a project is subject to some degree of variation due to naturally occurring circumstances (which I call variability and others call uncertainty) then you are not properly assessing project risk. Secondly, Risk events from the risk register must be considered when estimating total project cost or completion date. As you say a Monte Carlo simulation of the project including risks and uncertainties (or variability) is a commonly used technique. It is far easier than doing a statistical summary using Method of Moments, See my paper here: https://www.academia.edu/16025982/An_Integrated_Approach_to_Assessing_Contract_Cost_Schedule_and_Risk for more a detailed discussion.

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Creating a Risk Strategy that You Will Actually Use

We should want to take the time to analyze, assess, plan for and manage risk on the projects that we lead. The bottom line is...most of us really don't. Or at least our customer's don't see the need to spend...