Magazine article PM Network

Invasion of the Project Snatchers

Magazine article PM Network

Invasion of the Project Snatchers

Article excerpt

Exactly who is infiltrating your project?

Anyone who has tried to implement a project management information system knows all of those opposed did not come from outside the organization. In fact, many of those seeking the utter destruction of project management civilization come from supposed allies who are actually imposters spawned from vine-like alien pods. And I'm not talking about just the accountants. (To be fair, I'm reasonably sure most of them have at least one human parent.)

Here are the different types of "project snatchers" and tips on how to recognize them.

Estimators. It's a rare estimator who knows his or her place in the management information stream. And once they stealthily creep outside their legitimate confines, they inevitably damage valid project controls systems. Their swiftly advancing vine tendril seems to be performing an independent estimate at completion (EAC), meaning they reestimate a project's remaining work and add this number to cumulative actuals. This approach interrupts work to repeat the whole baselining exercise that created the project control system in the first place. It also ignores the fact that once a project has passed 15 percent complete, its cost performance index virtually never varies more than 10 points in either direction. That means a calculated EAC is accurate within 10 points as well. However, a detailed bottoms-up estimate, performed by a professional estimator with off-the-shelf software, is only accurate to within 15 points. So, not only is the calculated version faster and more accurate, it doesn't interrupt the technical work.

If sidling up to the original baseline to create a copy is so great, why isn't it done every month? Every week? Obviously at some point the technical staff (or genuine Earth-dwellers) would recognize what was going on and stop supporting such alien intrusions. …

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