According to recent research conducted by CII institute, based on 609 projects totaling $37 billion, improving decision making in the project planning phase results in:
- Project cost reduced by 10%
- Delivery time shortened by 7%
- Number of changes decreased by 5%
- Overall meeting of goals was significantly improved
Additionally, Front End planning creates a shared understanding among the members of the team performing the analysis. This shared understanding of project goals, performance measures, constraints and technological/operational alternatives for performing the project is critical for project success.
The fuzziness of the front end is a result of the knowledge gaps that tend to exist early on in the project life cycle. Understanding the sources of uncertainty and resulting risks as early as possible is extremely important, as these risks can be avoided or mitigated if properly analyzed early on.
Important decisions have to be made at every stage of the project life cycle. The PTB™ enables the mapping of the different stake holders along with their needs and expectations. This allows you to:
- Concentrate on maximizing the project value and benefit
- Eliminate wasteful, non-value-added activities.
The power of adding variability and interdependency to your project lies in the improved decision making process it creates. Once you properly define the problem space, you can answer questions like:
- "What is the preferred way to execute my project?"
- "What are the risks involved?"
- "How can the risks be mitigated?"
- "Is the project likely to finish on time and on budget satisfying the stakeholder’s expectations?"
Project Team Building
Project team building is a key success factor in any type of project. Team building is based on the creation of the team's shared understanding of the team members, their tasks and the given circumstances, constraints and project context. Shared understanding helps team members formulate collective explanations and expectations about the team's work processes and facilitate communication and coordination of team activities.
The PTB™ Analytics is designed to support team building early on in the project initiation and conceptual design phases. It provides a risk free environment in which team members can share views and standpoints regarding the project, its goals, constraints and the alternative ways to perform it. Like a sandbox in the old days, the PTB™ Analytics lets team members model, optimize and manage the project. It provides feedback to team members on the strengths / weaknesses of possible actions.
Variability and Interdependency
At the project planning phase you often have to select the best method to execute your project. An example of this is developing a software component "in house", outsourcing it, or buying it "off the shelf”.
The decision made will have cost, duration and quality implications. Furthermore, it might affect dependent tasks. In large projects these are hard selections to make. The PTB™ Analytics takes variability into account, allowing you to forecast the expected outcome of your decisions and how they will affect the entire project.
Take Uncertainty into Account
Usually you don’t know exactly how long a specific task will take, or if a specific resource will be available at a certain time period. However, you can estimate, based on previous experience and knowledge, the duration range and the show up probability of the resource.
Once you replace uncertain variables in your project plan with range estimations, you can run Monte Carlo simulations of your planned project and see what the risks involved are, what would happen in a best case scenario and a worst case scenario and create contingency plans.
Man in the Middle Simulation
Once the project is running more information becomes available. You can update the project model with what actually occurred. This allows you to keep making better decisions as the project is executing, resolve bottlenecks and get the project back on track in case it falls behind.
The PTB simulator Gamifies the project management process. Gartner says by 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will Gamify those processes. Gamification describes the broad trend of employing game mechanics to non-game environments in order to engage users and solve problems. By using these techniques you can enjoy the process of improving project management skills and improving project revenue.