Risk and Project Benefits

Many projects declared successful, never deliver all the benefits predicted by their enthusiastic champions. Benefits may have been oversold to get projects approved. Such projects waste resources and deny better propositions the light of day. Sometimes too, different projects claim the same benefits. And some projects chug on with no prospect of realising any benefits, ‘justified’ by sunk costs or the wish to avoid the embarrassment of cancellation. But mostly, post-project product or service benefits are not formally assessed. Yet benefits are the rationale for undertaking any project. Thus, project managers may need to take closer interest in anticipated project benefits and risks to these benefits.

While it is generally accepted that the prime role of project managers is to deliver their projects to ensure scope, time, cost and quality objectives are satisfied and that risks to these objectives are properly … Read More »


“Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

When I first noticed Richard Wiseman’s rather quirky book “The Luck Factor” I immediately thought of good old Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) – hence this article’s heading. Wiseman maintains that luck can be predicted and controlled and claims that his publication is the consequence of ten years’ scientific research rather than mere anecdotal trivia. I first encountered Wiseman’s views when I saw his infamous “gorilla basketball” video on YouTube. Yet, now that we accept opportunity as a dimension of project risk, his ideas on luck may have some relevance for us project managers.

Certainly when projects go wrong we are inclined to react “Why my project?” and we are usually less inclined to question things when all goes right. However, Wiseman has researched the “go right” option and suggests that the following strategies could turn our projects into luck magnets:

• … Read More »


Managing Project Risk

Risk management is one of today’s hottest topics. Most industries are now highly competitive and the project management mantra is faster, cheaper, better. With these pressures comes risk.

Good risk management or poor risk management can mean the difference between project success and project failure. Good risk management allows us to respond proactively to risk and also allows us to react better to those risks that do occur – issues.

Experience has shown that risk management must be of critical concern to all project managers, as unmanaged or unmitigated risks are a primary cause of project failure. Unfortunately, many managers and project managers believe risk management to be too difficult, too time consuming, or even too complicated to perform. However, such concerns are unfounded and there is no doubt that successful risk management will greatly add to the probability of project success.

The … Read More »


Book-in-progress: Project Stakeholder Management

1st April

I’m writing a new book on stakeholder management. To the uninitiated, given the current popularity of vampire movies, this expression might seem like something out of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (1897) when the undead Count was converted to truly dead by medium of a stake driven through his heart.

Such a tricky manoeuvre would presumably require some skilled management by the stakeholder. Yet, surprisingly perhaps, this is not what stakeholder management is all about, in the project management discipline anyway. Since this writing project will be quality-driven, I can’t speculate on the publication date, but I anticipate it will be some sort of an elaboration of the following diagram, although people have reservations about the expression ‘stakeholder management.’ In particular, ‘management’ insinuates that stakeholders need to be controlled, since left to their own devices they could upset the project. Perhaps an expression … Read More »




Blog

My latest thoughts on Project Management and life.

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