Dangerous Project Planning Mistakes 1) Tolerating Vague Objectives not enough thinking goes into clarifying objectives & measures 2) Ignoring environmental context identify and test assumptions 3) Using limited tools and process “when your only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail”
Dangerous Project Planning Mistakes 4) Neglecting stakeholder interests “people support what they help create” 5) One shot planning be “cycle logical” – think, plan, act and assess 6) Mismanaging people dynamics build in payoffs and grow the team
Aim for Project Purpose Outcomes Statement • Systems built or delivered. • New data base developed. • Staff trained in safe procedures. Corresponding Purpose • Employees use systems. • Data base successfully implemented. • Staff operates machinery safely.
Asking the Four Critical Questions • • • • What are we trying to accomplish and why? How will we measure success? What other conditions must exist? How do we get there? – These four critical questions form the heart of Strategic Project Management.
If – Then Logic • Get rich and move to Fiji • Improve productivity • Become the “hamster giant” • Have staff use standard procedures • Breed prize hamsters • Find a mate for Orville • Develop and publish best practices • Identify ineffective practices
Objectives Trees Objectives Goal Purpose Outcomes Inputs Career Planning Make lots of money and have fun Increase career mobility and market value 1. New skills developed 2. Professional network expanded 1.1 Attend conferences 1.2 Take a class Become a Golf Pro Become the #1 golfer in the world Become a tournament golfer 1. Improve my golf skills 1.1 Buy new clubs 1.2 Practice daily 1.3 Take lessons
Logical Framework (Log Frame) • Log frame embraces systems thinking. • Log frame tool is the ideal starting point to help your team build an iterative planning and implementation mindset. • The log frame captures the answers to the four critical questions.
The Log Frame Matrix Objectives Goal (Big picture- the what and why) Success Measures Goal measures include quality, quantity, time. Evidence based and clear. Purpose (Change expected from producing the outcomes) Purpose measures include success conditions expected at the end of the project Outcomes (Specific results expected from inputs) Outcome measures include description of completed outcomes Inputs (Responsibilities and tasks needed to produce outcomes) Input measures include budget, resources, time and schedule Verification Data sources to monitor and verify goal Assumptions External conditions needed to reach the goal. Spot potential problems and address them.
Today’s Workshop Log Frame Objectives Success Measures Verification Assumptions Goal Deliver successful projects Within next year: 1. Key project objectives reached on time, within budget, at required performance level. 1. Schedule and financial records 2. Project log frames 1. Participants have projects to work on. Purpose Within 3 weeks after training 80% of participants have completed project designs using the Log Frame model. 1. Follow up surveys 1. Participants have opportunity to apply concepts. 2. Participants will complete and return surveys. Outcomes Participants learn key PM concepts At the end of workshop 90% of participants can identify the four critical questions and develop a log frame. 1. Workshop exercises 2. Participant feedback 1. Participants are motivated to learn. 2. Instructor is competent to teach concepts. Inputs Develop training materials Materials are developed before the workshop. 1. Materials are printed 24 hour prior to the workshop. 1. Instructor will have time to develop materials. 2. The printing machine works. Participants apply what they learned following workshop.
Define and Align Objectives • Create a draft list of objectives. • Group your objectives into those you can make happen and those you cannot. • Review for logical “if – then”. • Select the highest objective and make it the Goal. Identify 1 – 2 outcomes that you know will be necessary. Then create a purpose statement.
Develop Success Measures and Verifications • Valid – They accurately measure the objectives. • Verifiable – Clear, non subjective evidence. • Targeted – Quality, quantity and time targets pinned down. • Independent – Each level has separate measures.
Choose Valid Measures Objectives Purpose An effective and customer responsive department. Success Measures 1. Fully staffed 2. Achieves objectives in annual plan 3. Comfortable and efficient facilities 4. Operates within budget 5. People arrive at work on time 6. Meets customers expectations 7. High morale 8. Provides results within “X” days of request 9. Admired by the boss Verification Which 4 of these nine measures seem most valid?
Choosing Verification • What kind of data will be collected? How and how often? • Who will collect the data? • How will the data be turned into usable information? • How will the information be used and by whom? • What is the most cost effective and efficient means of verification?
Assumptions • Simply stating an assumption does not make it true. Always ask; – Is this assumption reasonable? – What are the odds it is valid? How do we know? – How important is this Assumption to project success or failure? – How can we influence the assumption in our favor? – How can we design the project to minimize the impact of, or work around, the Assumption?
Expressing Well Defined Assumptions Vague Assumptions Management will support the project. Better Stated Assumptions Best Stated Assumptions The VP of Finance and will The VP of Finance will support the project. allocate $100,000 by June 30th for this project. Sufficient resources available. System analysts are available to help with the project. ??????????
Key Points Review • Project purpose expresses the important result or impact we expect the project to produce. • Successful projects ask the four critical questions. • Use “if – then” thinking to form strategic hypothesis and design sound steps and planning. • Use Log Frames to clarify relationships among inputs, outcomes, purpose and goals. • Reduce problems early by scrutinizing the assumptions. • Take action early to manage assumptions.