Project Management

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Topics: Estimating, New Practitioners, Risk Management, Scheduling
Delivery of projects affected by 3th party factors
There are projects you can deliver at initial planned date. There are also projects that you can not deliver at inicial planned date, because of external factors out of your hands, and that indeed you include in your risks management, but definitivelly out of your hands. This last kind of projects are delivered on time, taking into account these factors correctly traced and your company is not penalized. Is it still considered a good project well managed?
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I did not really understand your question. Are you asking about projects delivered on time or not delivered on time due to external factors ?
1 reply by Luis Rodriguez Amaya
Feb 02, 2016 4:18 PM
Luis Rodriguez Amaya
Not delivered at time, due to external factors, traced but definitivelly out of our hands.
A well manage project is a project that achieved its objectives. Project objectives (or goals) are the meassure for project success. And here is the key (and believe me it is a great amount of debates outside there): to define project success and objectives in the right way. Most of the people are defining project objectives that are product objectives in fact. In accordance to the PMBOK project success is masured by product and project quality, timeliness, bugget compliance. So, that is your focus. On the other side, "good" and "well" are subjective matter that you have to make objective matter. The way I found is by defining the project objectives and success in the right way.
Feb 02, 2016 3:27 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
I did not really understand your question. Are you asking about projects delivered on time or not delivered on time due to external factors ?
Not delivered at time, due to external factors, traced but definitivelly out of our hands.
If you are aware of these factors from the initial stages of the project but you hsve no other choice then you have to try to mitigate or avoid. Sometimes you can't avoid when for example you have Sole Supplier or 3rd Party so all you can do is take it into consideration when doing your risk contengencies.

Sometimes when things are out of your hand, you can always still make the project a success but mitigating.

Hope this helps.
For a company the project which closes successfully on time and brings an estimated income is successful.

The success of project management depends upon how we managed those external factors in our projects.
If you have correctly identified/handled risks with respect to 3rd party in your risk process and if customer hasn't penalized you and he thought the project has met the project objectives defined initially as mentioned by Sergio then i think it is a success only.

I am assuming that proper risk management is done(mitigated/avoided) as mentioned by Rami then only you came out victoriously.
Luis, as other mentioned, you have to take into account what management means. Generally speaking that means for our stakeholders "I do not want surprises". So, if you are in control of the project and you put alll your actions in paper then no problem must happend. As I mentioned, the project objectives first. And I mentioned I know that is not easy because we need to transform all that is subject matter in objective matter.
External factors which are not in our control are definitely implied constraint within which what best can be delivered. Appreciating such constraints, judgement can be made on how well project was managed.
If the external factors could have been reasonably expected or identified, then an assumption or risk should have been created in the project plan. Otherwise, it's an "unknown unknown". In any case, the reactions of the PM, stakeholders, and project team to these external factors could be considered with respect to the how well the project was managed.
Hi Luis,

I agree with most of the above. Where I have most often felt the challenges of schedule delays due to external factors, have usually been on two topics:

1. Procurement ETAs - It is challenging to baseline a schedule early on projects that involve significant procurement. I manage this by building in assumptions around delivery ETAs, tracking a related risk, requesting exepedited delivery where possible.

2. Contracting with third parties on integration projects, or hiring consultants to own hardware and switch upgrades - For some of the organizations we contract with, we know how long the process to finalize an SoW will take, so we work backward from the desired Initiating start date and begin the SoW process early. If possible adding a deadline in the SoW ensures the organization must hit your targets.

The above approaches can be effective when you're working with vendors with whom you have an existing relationship, as you then become familiar with their typical ETAs. The risk is higher with new external relationships.

In response to your last question, I believe if you manage through the external factors effectively, raising assumptions, constraints, related risks with at least a solid contingency, if no mitigation is possible, and have communicated the impacts to your schedule and plan well to your stakeholders, then you are probably managing it well. There are some things that are outside of our control as PMs.

I'm not certain if my scenarios are similar to what you're encountering, or relevant, but thought I would share.
1 reply by Luis Rodriguez Amaya
Apr 07, 2016 12:50 PM
Luis Rodriguez Amaya
Thanks Michelle useful advices.
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