Categories: Project Assumptions
This interview about assumptions in project management with Beth Spriggs was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss her paper and presentation The Risky Business of Assumptions - Uncovering the Truth, as We Assume It to Be. Here is the abstract:
We all hold assumptions, then make decisions and take actions based on those assumptions without verifying their validity. Worse is when other people hold assumptions about our work and we don’t know it. This can impact user adoption, timeline, scope, quality, and overall project success. Not to mention personal frustration, stress, and desires to pull out one’s own hair.
Unchecked assumptions can be very dangerous in the workplace. We should be mindful of some common assumptions and actively work to uncover assumptions. Doing so will bolster project work and open up new paths for identifying risks.
Some project assumption examples that Beth introduces us to are assuming a project or task is easier or faster than it actually is, assuming priorities are aligned and haven't changed, and assuming who owns, or is responsible for, what.
Very importantly the paper and discussion also include a section about uncovering assumptions. Here, Beth offers us 5 ideas on how to develop and expand our project assumptions list.
Here is the first sentence in Mark Langley’s foreword of the in-depth report Delivering Value - Focus on Benefits during Project Execution, which PMI published as part of it’s Pulse of the Profession Series:
A project is truly successful only if it delivers the benefits an organization envisions.
At first glance this sentence is awfully obvious to us project managers. But having good and successful benefits realization management and thereby turning this statement into a reality is what makes our job so hard. And rewarding.
So what exactly are benefits realisation and benefits realisation management? Is there a benefits management process and how does all of this fit into project benefits management?
How about if I let Dave L Davis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dldavispmp) explain it all to you? He has authored one of the articles in that Pulse of the Profession report from where I took the earlier quote. The article is titled “The Benefits Management Journey” and serves as our guide.
We’ll learn what exactly benefits realization management is, review the process of implementing it on projects, meet the people involved, and we’ll even talk about tools.
And at the very end of this episode you’ll learn that even failings project have benefits
Does your project rely on virtual teams? If yes, then it means that working remotely is the norm for your project team members.
Are they doing their work effectively and efficiently? And even if you answered yes, there is always room for improvement, right? Good, because how to make remote work productive is our topic today.
Our interview guest is Bruce Harpham (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/bruceharpham andhttp://projectmanagementhacks.com) who has written about remote workers and how to increase all our effectiveness. He argues that working virtually is simply the reality on many projects and project teams these days.
And so in order to help us improve remote work he recommends the following four steps:
We’ll go through each of these in detail with lots of examples from his own experience.
For over a decade now, Arras people has been publishing their yearly project management benchmark report and so I’ve invited Lindsay Scott (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/projectsmanagementrecruitment) to introduce it to us to this latest version.
Lindsay says about the report, that even after all this time of doing the research and seeing the changes over the years, it is hard not to be drawn to the fact that project management is still an exciting and growing field. The fact that projects are still failing suggests that even with all the effort and time expended we are still searching for that magic bullet which will ensure we deliver.
Of course, the report doesn’t give us this magic bullet, but it provides an interesting insight into what you and I are doing day after day.
There are two options for you to get a copy of this report:
He not only says that the PMP salary you can expect is greater on average, but he also found many other PMP certification benefits. Having a shared vocabulary and enjoying a completely different and often steep career path are just two of them.
So if you are either already PMP certified or thinking about your own PMP Exam Prep and and wondering about the value of PMP certification, then this interview is definitely for you. Niraj and I explore the benefits of being or becoming a PMP from various aspects.