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Glen B. Alleman
Boulder, Colorado
Performance-Based Project Management®
Interests: Earned Value, Risk, Cost, Program Performance, Integrated Master Plan, Integrated Master Schedule.
Recent Activity
Our world is complex and becoming more complex all the time. We are connected and in turn driven by a complex web of interacting technology and processes. These interacting technologies and processes are implemented by information and communication technologies that... Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Herding Cats
There is a popular noton in the agile world, and some business guru's that failure is encouraged as part of the learning process. What is not stated is when and where this failure can take place. The picture to the... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Herding Cats
In probability theory, de Finetti's theorem† explains why exchangeable observations are conditionally independent given some latent variable to which an epistemic probability distribution would then be assigned. It is named in honor of Bruno de Finetti. It states that an... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Herding Cats
Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany (1615) .... Considering the force exerted by logical deductions, they may ascertain that it is not in the power of the professors of demonstrative sciences to change their opinions at... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Herding Cats
The epitaph on Diophantus reads tomb: This tomb holds Diophantus. Ah, what a marvel! And the tomb tells scientifically the measure of his life. God vouchsafed that he should be a boy for the sixth part part of his life;... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Herding Cats
Your breakdown is not my emergency Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Herding Cats
A favorite blog is Critical Uncertainties where Matthew Squair writes about risk. Risk in broad terms. But risk in a narrow term is just as important and just as critical. Thanks to Matthew for the picture to the left and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at Herding Cats
When we encounter simple answers to complex problems, we need to not only be skeptical, we need to think twice about the credibility of the person posing the solution. A recent example is: The cost of software is not directly... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at Herding Cats
I spoke at a workshop this week at The Nexus of Agile Software Development and Earned Value Management, OUSD(AT&L)/PARCA, February 19 – 20, 2015 Institute for Defense Analysis, Alexandria, VA. This meeting was attended by government and industry representatives to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2015 at Herding Cats
Many in the Agile community like to use words like Self Organizing, Emergent, Complexity, and Complex Adaptive Systems, without actual being able to do the mathematics behind these concepts. They've turned the words into platitudes. This is the definition of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at Herding Cats
In the #NoEstimates conversation, the term empirical data is used as a substitute for Not Estimating. This notion of No Estimates - that is making decisions (about the future) with No Estimates, is oxymoronic since gathering data and making decisions... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at Herding Cats
There was a post yesterday where the phrase embrace the intellectual honesty of uncertainty and a picture of Dice. I interpreted - possibly wrongly - that picture meant uncertainty is the same as tossing dice and gambling with your project.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at Herding Cats
Our mathematical models are far from complete, but they provide us with schemes that model reality with great precision - a precision enormously exceeding that of any description that is free of mathematics - Roger Penrose - "What is Reality,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Herding Cats
Thanks for the good questions. I'm wondering if the point is inverted. When we encounter something we're not good at we many times say "Well I won't do that." But the estimates aren't for us they're for the people paying us. Ï'm not good at changing the oil in my car, so I won't do that."Really? Won't you either learn to do it, or find someone is can do it. In many organizations estimating is done by an estimating group. Or at a minimum by those who are qualified. You've laid out a strawman as well. What's the value at risk for NOT doing some type of estimate. Are those paying you willing to risk that value, when you are wrong? Breaking down stories into hour-by-hour estimates is rarely of value, unless of course there is high value at risk for you being late and over budget. Closed Loop control - and the #NoEstimates community uses Open Loop control - is the way we manage other people's money. And that paradigm - set a target budget, schedule, and technical performance - estimate how you are going to achieve those goals on a time phased basis, perform the work, measures the variance, take corrective actions - is how non-trivial projects are managed. As Kent Beck says "feedback"is the cure for optimism in software development. But that feedback needs a "reference"signal to generate the variances.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2015 on We Suck At Estimating at Herding Cats
1 reply
I found this picture on the web. The OP didn't know where it came from so I have no attribution. It speaks volumes to the gap between knowing and doing. The notion of knowing and doing is at the heart... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Herding Cats
I advise my students to listen carefully the moment they decide to take no more mathematics courses. They might be able to hear the sound of closing doors - James Caballero. "Everyone is a Mathematician," CAIP Quarterly 1989. When we... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Herding Cats
Just started a new book The Physics of Wall Street: Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable. The seeds of decision making in the presence of uncertainty, started long ago with Louis Bachelier's A Theory of Speculation. This work, started in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2015 at Herding Cats
When I hear about a process, a procedure, a tool, a method, an idea, and even an anti-process like #NoEstimates, I first ask in what domain is this applicable? And when the answer comes back, software I suspect the speaker... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at Herding Cats
Glen B. Alleman is now following J_Bow29
Feb 6, 2015
Thanks for the comment. This is a common problem in the absence of a replan. Mr. Kester would not like to hear that term "harvesting underrun." ;>) As well the customer needs to sign off on the OTB, so the conversation of running in OTB needs moe people at the table. Sounds like at 75% complete you're more han 75% spent, so what's the confidence that the remaining and addition work will "pick up the pace," and not run at 0.75 CPI/SPI. If the answer is clear that 0.75 can be put back to something acceptable, will then be sufficient funds to complete the remaining 25% as well as the incremental funding and scope and land soft at the end. That could be answered in the replan. And would likely be the primary motivation for the replan - "past performance is usually an indicator of future performance."
1 reply
There is a tendency, and I do this as well, to focus on our own little corner of the universe. I've learned to recognize when I'm doing this and have been taught by several good Systems Engineering leaders and a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at Herding Cats
Jorion (2007) wrote that “Western Europe conquered the world because of a technological revolution that started from the attempts to measure the world.” In the same way, attempts to measure risk - (and its related project performance impacts) - more... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at Herding Cats
Ensure Good Data gets to the Bad Decision Makers This quote is from a DOD Contracting surveillance officer on the inability of some managers to use data for decision making. Making good decisions requires good data. Data about the future.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at Herding Cats
Confidence intervals are the means to measure population parameters. A concern in inferential statistics (making a prediction from a sample of data or from a model of that data) is the estimation of the population parameter from the sample statistic.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Herding Cats
Reference Class Forecasting is a useful source of data for making estimates in a variety of domains. Eliminating Bias Through Reference Class Forecasting From Nobel Prize to Project Management: Getting Risks Right And some databases used for RCF Nederlandse Software... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at Herding Cats