BOOK LAUNCH – “Managing Smaller and Medium-Sized Projects”

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Authors launching their books sometimes find themselves at a bookstore or other venue surrounded by empty seats except perhaps for their loyal family members, a solo ardent fan, random stragglers, and bored staff. Fortunately, my frugal, hooplaless and haka-free book launch collared a few curious people. Here’s me with colleagues and friends from our MBA days (some 30 years ago) including in the foreground Mark and Murray – successful entrepreneurs and clearly extremely intelligent and very discerning readers!

Free Sample

Click here for the FREE first chapter of this 204 page book. If you want a hard copy of the entire book please contact me by email The book will cost you NZ$38, which sum includes GST and free delivery within NZ.

The book is easy-to-read and is written in a friendly, … Read More »

Project Durations and Contingencies

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Predicting project completion times is one of the challenges of Project Managers. Project schedule overruns are quite common due to uncertainty in estimating task durations, lack of historical data, inadequate skill, etc.

We could simply add the usual 10% schedule contingency to help ensure we finish our project on time or maybe we could take a more scientific approach based on a beta (β) frequency distribution and the PERT (programme evaluation and review technique) formula:

In this situation, the project critical path BET = (O + 4ML + P)/6 = (22 + 160 + 100) = 47 days, the Standard Deviation = (P – O)/6 = 13 days, and Contingency = Standard Factor x Standard Deviation. The Standard Factor is the same for all projects. As with all estimates, their accuracy depends on the accuracy of the input data. To … Read More »

Project Cost Estimating

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Estimation is notoriously difficult. Projects by definition are unique ventures. We do not have the luxury of “having done it before” enjoyed by our operational colleagues – something is always different. But if it were just difficult we would expect to err in both directions – we would over-estimate as much as we under-estimate. Whereas the latter is common, the former is not – except perhaps when quoting a fixed price to a client. We know that our track record is poor but it doesn’t seem to help us – we are not improving. Rather than accept inaccurate estimation as an inevitable part of project management life, the application of good practice should significantly enhance the resultant estimates.  The following ideas may help:

Check we’ve identified all the work to be done, including all those jobs we do as PM – … Read More »


My latest thoughts on Project Management and life.

Monte Carlo Simulation

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Edition 6) advocates the use of Monte Carlo simulation for performing quantitative risk analysis.

In the project management...

Time Management

Among other changes, the Project Management Institute in their latest Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Edition 6) has sensibly renamed the “Time Management”...

Quitting our Project – Prematurely!

“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em

Know when to fold ‘em

Know when to walk away