Seizing the Initiative Through Creative Thinking Versus Reacting to the Enemy local copyby Grothe, SAMS paper, Leadership must be committed to learning, underwrite experimentation, and create an environment that generates creative thought and innovation.
Planning, scheduling and synchronization are all processes that will create a model of expectation for the project organization. But that model needs to be managed once it comes into contact with reality. Appropriate resource behaviors, especially the required focus on the most important task at hand, require the occasional guidance to clarify priorities in a shifting situation.
And if the critical chain scheduling process is used, something needs to be used to replace task due-dates to assess the health of project promises.
Project Control with Buffer Management The buffers introduced in the Critical Chain scheduling methodology do not only serve to protect project promises in a static manner. They also provide an ongoing view of the health of the project as reality impacts the expected model that is the original schedule.
As tasks take longer than the schedule anticipates, buffers are consumed. As they take less time, those buffers are replenished. Awareness of project buffer consumption relative to the completion of the critical chain and to the expected variability of the remaining work on the chain provides an important forward-looking focal point for managing project execution.
A number of straightforward ways of assessing buffer consumption make it clear to everyone involved when and where corrective actions need to be taken. Effective Buffer Management is a critical factor in successful implementations of Critical Chain-based project management systems.
That data requires only one number at the end of each day -- a current estimate of time to complete the task at hand. Immediate issues can be quickly identified through this process.
These meetings are also useful for supporting regular, forward-looking risk management as well, again with an eye to current buffer condition and to its ability to absorb the impact of identified risks. Buffer Management and Risk Identification Consistent buffer management is a major contributor to the establishment of a risk management culture in a particular project environment.
Risks and their positive flip side -- opportunities -- are, by definition, potential future occurrences that require a forward-looking approach to support their identification.
The everyday process of developing an estimate-to-complete task status keeps short- and immediate-term risks in the forefront of the mind of the reporting resources. In addition, the elimination of task estimates as commitments and the related transfer of safety to the buffer should support a greater willingness to raise concerns, if the buffer is there to absorb them and they are not expected to have to have an immediate solution to protect their personal performance.
Buffer management also provides a clear view of the cumulative risk effects of project performance. Buffer consumption at any point in time is the result of all previous work, which can eat away at the buffer quietly but insidiously as the project progresses.
If buffer consumption is tracked against the amount of chain completed, or alternatively if buffer remaining is tracked against the amount of buffer required to protect what remains of the chain, trends of diminishing buffer condition or the crossing of pre-determined thresholds will serve to identify indications of risk for the project as a whole.
Buffer Management, Risk Assessment and Response Control Once a possible risk is identified via its impact on buffers, assessment of whether is deserves further attention is required.
Project managers are probably sufficiently paranoid so that the risk of not acting is relatively remote. However, that same paranoia can sometimes drive analyses and actions that are not really necessary. And those unnecessary actions will only serve to distract resources and managers from getting on with the necessary work.
Buffer charts, tracking buffers condition against chain completion or buffer required for remaining work, can be utilized in a way that is not unlike the way control charts are used in statistical process control for production environments.
If sufficient buffer remains for protection of the promise from the variation anticipated for the remaining work, then it is not worth the time and attention necessary to develop corrective actions.
In this way, buffer management as risk response control has, embedded within it analysis useful for assessment of individual risks as well. Buffer Management and Risk Mitigation The quality of actions taken to avoid or mitigate identified risks is highly dependent on the quality of thinking that goes into their design.Search the Online Resources for more credible sources, depending on your topic.
At some point in your college career, you may be asked to respond to a critical, peer-reviewed article. Your response will need to be critical as well, looking for and pointing out flaws or strong areas in the author's argument and constructing an alternative hypothesis that may be better suited to the problem.
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A question, Scott. Have you, so far, regretted the posts you have tagged as Things I Will Regret Writing? It seems to me that the articles are inherently worthy to be written, being all of well-researched, well-supported, (extremely) well-written, and on a very important and very contentious topic, upon which you elucidate many things, very clearly.
New Criticism. A literary movement that started in the late s and s and originated in reaction to traditional criticism that new critics saw as largely concerned with matters extraneous to the text, e.g., with the biography or psychology of the author or the work's relationship to literary history.
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