Updating the trough of despair – Do projects always double dip?

When I first learned project management we were really into waterfall concepts like crashing the schedule and EVA.  In fact I really enjoyed the process of Pert charts and planning.

But I stated to notice that many difficult things ended up being deferred to “release 2” then “release 2.1” and then “post-release business as usual”.  This actually meant they didn’t get done.  So I was talking to an experienced PM from a consultancy and he introduced me to the concept of “the peak of expectation and the trough of disappointment”.

project troughs

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A prophets of doom workshop

In the past I have used some pretty dodgy approaches to defining risks in a project, from formal approaches like fault tree analysis through to informal approaches like “the evil genius” and “an international standard for being scared“.

So this article is not really a new one.  It is more a combination of evil geniuses and international standards for being scared.  But I think this workshop should work well when starting any project and particularly small projects with a simple project charter.

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Will the organsiational antibodies destroy your germ of an idea

Many risks in projects are related to one of two things

  • The idea behind the project is a good one, but you have not thought about the wider impact it has on the organisation; or
  • There are risks within the organisation that will impact your project because of the organisation rather than because of your project

Continue reading “Will the organsiational antibodies destroy your germ of an idea”