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Glen B. Alleman
Performance-Based Project Management® in software intensive system of system
Interests: Earned Value, Risk, Cost, Program Performance, Integrated Master Plan, Integrated Master Schedule.
Recent Activity
I posted some comments on the #NoEstimates book awhile back. I have a break this week and would like to sum up Chapter 1. Chapter 1 Introduction Why estimates don't work - Carmen is assigned a project that will make... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2017 at Herding Cats
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When process improvement starts with the solution, it's common to anchor this improvement on the Bad Apple syndrome. The Dilbert Manager, the bad apple on the team, and another example of starting with the symptom and skipping to the solution,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at Herding Cats
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There has been lots of buzz in the project management space lately about the benefits of planning. Planning is one of the Five Immutable Principles of project success. Planning tells us, in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at Herding Cats
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I work agile programs that are subject to FAR 34.2 and DFARS 234.2 These are Software Intensive System of Systems, starting at $20M in some domains and $5M in others and going much larger. Many are household names in space... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2017 at Herding Cats
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I've been working in the probabilistic estimating business for a decade or two. One of the seminal books that started it all is Short-Term Forecasting. This is the basis of Box-Jenkins and Mr. Jenkins quote that is universally misquoted by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at Herding Cats
Dennis, Here's a good starting point for EQF https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a148/a0d52574db711159cb4190a701f5a5480941.pdf In De Marco's model, pg 935, the quality factor is needed because the "quality" of the forecast is not assessed. This paradigm, along with Bohem's is based on static estimating process of the 1980's and early 1990's. In the current estimating paradigm, Monte Carlo Simulation for cost and schedule estimating and Parametric modeling of mostly cost, is used. This is a dynamic approach where the MCS tools start with a model of ALL future work, then as that work proceeds and actual data is available uses that data to better inform the future modeling outcomes. Here's the tool we use. http://intaver.com/ There are others like this. It models the irreducible and reducible uncertanties in the project in a Risk Register, assigns those variances to the elements of the project and produces information about the possible outcomes. Here's some tutorials on this product and its use http://intaver.com/index-tutorial4.html The "quality" of the estimate is then based on the initial quality of the network of work - the integrated master schedule, and the quality of the ranges of variances for the irreducible uncertanty and the quality of the reducible event based risks. The deviations between the forecasts and the actuals is included in the modeling process, once the projects is statused. This avoids the issues of mentioned in the article. The Cone of Uncertainty is still in place as a management "build to specification," used to measure the project's performance in terms of uncertanty compared to the needed uncertanty to maintain that performance. Like all good estimating processes, when the project is not performing to the estimated level - burndown charts in agile, burnup charts for something like MTBF, then a root cause analysis needs to be done, to see what went wrong in the performance of the work. Then an assessment of the Model can be done. So to answer the question. The quality of the forecast is a closed loop control system in itself, rather than a static model compared to the actual work. The EQF is not Root Cause based, it assumes if the project is not performance as planned (forecast), the forecast is of low quality. In fact there are two independent variables in the closed loop control of project work. - the original and continually updating forecast based on past performance once the project starts - the actual performance of the work Once a variance opens, both need to have RCAs. EQF doesn't address this issue.
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Just had a conversation of sorts where it was stated, I look at the median EQF of a portfolio as one gauge of the quality of the overall underlying data. The problem is without the variances of any single point... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2017 at Herding Cats
Much of the conversation in social media around agile techniques seems to be based on the differences between the variety of choices of a method, a process, or a practice and definitions of terms for those choices. There seems little... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2017 at Herding Cats
“If a profession is to sharpen its skills, to develop new skills and applications, and to gain increasing respect and credibility, then theory and practice must be closely related” – Martin Shub When there are practices suggested without principles, those... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2017 at Herding Cats
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Velocity is a speed in a specific direction. Velocity is Distance traveled divided by time in a specific direction. This is defined as a Vector. Speed and Direction. The direction can be a compass heading. A compass heading of an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Herding Cats
Cost estimation is part science, part art. There are many well-defined processes within the cost estimating discipline. There is also a subjective element to cost estimating that makes the discipline an art (NASA, 2004). Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Herding Cats
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We hear all the time suggestions for improvement. Or suggestions for outright abandonment of established Processes and sometimes even established Principles. Before listening to any of these and most important making any changes, do a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at Herding Cats
It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness when only an approximation of the truth is possible - Aristotle, 384... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2017 at Herding Cats
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For non-trivial problems in any domain, Systems Engineering provides a starting framework for identifying problems, assessing possible solutions, implementing those solutions, measuring the performance of the efforts to deliver the solutions and the effectiveness of those solutions. Here's the collective... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2017 at Herding Cats
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Principles are timeless. Practices and Process are Fads. A Principle a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. A Practice is an application or use... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2017 at Herding Cats
Correct, I was trying to be kind to those working on de minimis projects. Whether to project is de minimis or not can likely be determined by looking at the level risk of those paying
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2017 on Reference Class Forecasting at Herding Cats
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Our long time friends have moved to our neighborhood here in Colorado. Their moving van arrived today. We brought coffee to them while their old house was being unloaded into the new house. Talking with the moving van owner, he... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2017 at Herding Cats
Entropy is the natural tendency of any system to move from order to disorder in the absence of an external force In project work, the disorder is created by uncertainty. These uncertainties come in two forms. Reducible and irreducible uncertainty.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2017 at Herding Cats
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In the project management world, everyone is selling something to solve some problem. This includes product vendors, consulting firms, and internal providers. I'm on the internal provider side most of the time. Other times, I on the consulting firm acting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at Herding Cats
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In the estimating business, like many things in project management, there is confusion about principles, practices, and processes. And sometimes even outright misinformation. Here's an example used by the #NoEstimates advocates. Starting in 1986, there is a sentence that says... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2017 at Herding Cats
“The real value of computers is communication, not computation.” - Natasha Kalatin Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at Herding Cats
You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. – Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100 Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at Herding Cats
Most programs I work are in trouble in some form - other wise they would not have hired us to help. One quote we use to describe these situations is What's the difference between this program and the Boy Scouts?... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2017 at Herding Cats
Insight, untested and unsupported, is an insufficient guarantee of truth. - Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic 1929 When we hear an extraordinary claim, demand extraordinary evidence. Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2017 at Herding Cats
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It's common to hear, projects are overhead, we just need to get the value to the customer as fast as possible. This seems to be a lament from agile developers. Anything getting in the way of them coding is seen... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2017 at Herding Cats