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Topic Teasers Vol. 91: Calculating Benefits?

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA

Question: Recently, my job has expanded to include helping management look into the future to calculate the benefits from investing in a project today. I vaguely remember doing these formulas to get my PMP, but to be honest I have not really used them in an actual project planning situation. Other than just the math, how do these figures help me recommend amounts that can and should be invested toward projects?
A. The economic marketplace is so dependent on stakeholder interpretations of the news and political events that it is impossible to try to predict the value of organizational projects in the future. Since 2011, businesses no longer use the present and future monetary calculations in their strategic planning.
B. When choosing projects, the one which will offer the highest return on investment is always the best one to choose. Financial value, even if it is delayed longer into the future, is always the wisest way for an organization to direct its investment dollars.
C. Present Value (PV) and Future Value (FV) can be used to see how much business value a project can provide to the organization in the future. It allows mathematical calculations to pinpoint amounts rather than just predictions of good “growth” or “return.”
D. There are many types of value for a company to consider. Each project can be focused to lead to whichever type of value is most important to the organization, but only one of four portfolio value categories for projects can be met by a single project.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Stop Being Scared of Spreadsheets!

by Jirí Skrivánek

Scared of spreadsheets? Don't be! They are a necessary and valuable tool in the project manager's arsenal. This article and its accompanying template are not a step-by-step tutorial. Instead of detailed instructions, it discusses a few things that are crucial to start both managing projects and completing advanced work with spreadsheets.

Rescue Me! Understanding Triple Constraint Problems

by Michael Zekser

What constitutes a troubled project? The answer is truly in the eyes of the sponsor, but as project managers we need to measure objectively and then decide how to use those facts in our go-forward plans. Here the author puts everything in the context of the triple constraint.

Weather Forecasters: Terrific Project Managers

by William Davis

Like project managers, weather forecasters predict, or forecast, what will happen in the future. But they have an advantage over most PMs when it comes to estimating future uncertainties. Weather forecasters forecast the future more than they predict the future, and forecasts are superior to predictions for aligning stakeholder expectations and improving stakeholder decision making.

Managing a Presales Project: How Different Is It?

by Paul Visser

We generally talk about managing projects that were sold to our customers. But how about the management of a presales project? Is that just like managing any other project? Do we have the same constraints? Is it less stressful?

First-Cost Estimates in Engineering Projects

by Alfredo Alexis Devenin Vera

This is an exploration of the importance of first-cost estimates in engineering projects and how they are used to decide whether to go ahead with market studies and engineering development—or dismiss the project.

Tricking the System: How to Track Costs for Projects with Internal Resources

by Cory Adcock, PMP

It can sometimes get lost that there are a great number of projects initiated every day that will never have a formal budget associated to them. It is important that PMs and management not lose sight that even internal projects can benefit from the rigor of cost management processes and EVM principles.

3 Questions Every Sponsor Should Ask of Agile Project Teams

by Kevin Aguanno, CSPM (IPMA-B), Cert.APM, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP, FPMAC, FAPM

While there are many governance data points that can be gathered and analyzed to help make go/no-go decisions, there are three in this writer's experience that stand out as being the most important.

Project Performance Reporting

by Allen Chilmeran, PMP

Project-status reporting is intended to enable decision makers to make informed decisions that will increase the chances of achieving a favorable outcome. The process of establishing an effective and proactive reporting system that ensures engagement of the project executive team is discussed here.

Design Your Status Report for an Audience of Leaders

by Joe Wynne

When you think of the leaders who look at your status reports as users, the look and feel of the report you use may be inadequate. Give leaders the information they need in a compelling manner by using design thinking to make improvements in how information is presented.

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