November 5, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT | November 6, 2020 – February 7, 2021, On-Demand | Online Conference
Please login or join to subscribe to this thread
1. shifting requirements of the customer and 2. changes in the marketplace.
In both circumstances, it is important to have frequent (sometimes iterative) feature delivery, feedback loops and customer engagement to identify and mitigate risks, reduce uncertainty and increase value.
1. Unpredictable availability of resources (especially for knowledge-based projects). Elevate the risk of this to the appropriate senior leaders, build buffers into your schedules, and maintain excellent working relationships with functional managers so they will prioritize your project over others if push comes to shove...
2. Negative action from "silent" stakeholders. Effective risk & stakeholder management.
I will answer with the contrary. The only area where I have 100% of certainty is project change management. The only thing I can assure is changes will happend.
Like the question, Kevin, and the replies so far.
I have no feeling of uncertainty in the moment, and I think it is because Corona extended the views on what could possibly go wrong, so I feel we can better prepare for anything.
Which means for me improving resilience, having a serendipity mindset, looking forward to the next disruption to come. And I certainly do not fall victim to the VUCA perception.
With that, the level of my uncertainty goes down.
One way I describe my job is 'bringing reality out of uncertainty,' and I view certainty as a mirage that people cling to like it's a life raft in stormy seas.
Who, among you, hasn't given a ROM estimate at the beginning of a project only to have someone higher up the food chain treat you like your honor is on the line if you don't meet the date, in spite of new information being available?
At a high level, on projects, things become uncertain when project team members are expected to perform work they haven't done before and don't have the knowledge or skills to do the work. This can unfold in several ways - new tools, new programming language or module, introducing new products to new markets in a new country... You can add time and money to the project for training or hiring a new expert; this reduces uncertainty, but may not eliminate it.
It's not always well received, but one way I try to address schedule uncertainty, at the beginning of a project, is to explain that any estimates are based on limited information and that I will be able to provide more accurate estimates once we understand the requirements, design a solution, and identify the tasks and how long they should take. Or, once we understand the MVP and how many iterations it will take to deliver.
The other major area of uncertainty I've encountered is the time it takes to find defects, fix them, and retest custom code. Once you start customizing code, the probability and impact of defects can increase. It takes time to identify the root cause, develop and test a fix, and make sure your fix does not reveal or cause new defects. Again, spending time and money on training or new hires with expertise, in advance, can help reduce uncertainty. Communication and managing expectations is also critical.
It's kind of like what I would tell teams in other countries when rolling out SAP upgrades - "It's not about whether or not there will be issues. There will be issues. What matters is how you deal with them."
I think that this year told us that "shifting business priorities" will always have one of the biggest impacts.
Please login or join to reply