Project Management

Managing Project Uncertainties

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Just about any effort that needs a project manager carries some degree of uncertainty. Yet even though every project is sure to come with some uncertainty, even the most expert project managers have difficulty managing through it. Over the years, various tools and mechanisms have been invented to help, including risk management studies and analysis, new and better ways to understand customer needs and gather requirements, and multiple strategies to forecast schedule, budget and cost predictions. Despite all these procedures, many projects are disappointments or fail outright. Failure can come in many different forms, from finding out the goals of the project are not possible, or dealing with shifting and evolving requirements, to having the project take longer, or cost much more than the project itself will be worth.

The existence of uncertainty is entirely predictable; it can be assured that every project will contain some. However, determining where the uncertainty lies is rarely foreseeable, and can only be uncovered by managing the project through it. Each type of uncertainty needs a different type of management, and a project may need to make use of several strategies along the way. A skilled project manager should be able to direct the project from multiple angles, including reducing the risks associated with doing something completely new and unknown, constantly …


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"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh."

- George Bernard Shaw

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