Author Archives: Scott

Introduction: true story (with pictures)

Greetings (and, by special request, a Hoo-ya’ to ya’ SoCal), Many of you are here because I gave you this link while facilitating a VIP (Value Improving Process), and some of you may have gotten the link as part of my Project Manager mentoring program. I’m also getting a few hits via Google, however, so [...]

PM101: Scope and Costs

A cost estimate is, to me, a useless number without a fit for purpose, clearly defined and documented (a) scope, (b) methodology and (c) range. Each is discussed below. History seems to hold with three major categories of cost estimates: Screening; Budget; Definitive . Among these, there are five specific estimates: Screening: Class 5: business [...]

Probability, more or less

Give Me a Number, please! Every executive wants to know the completion date for his / her project. But suppose you developed a curve for one of the following, all with the same “most likely” completion span (e.g. 15 months). How would you differentiate between them, when asked by the exec, to properly respond? One [...]

Quality Decisions

Big Ones and little ones What’s most important: getting the big decisions right, or the lots of little ones? Answer: both. Most of the literature, and emphasis in project management, is on getting the big ones right. Justly so. Before we get into that, though, a moment on the little ones. Quote: Remember this, and [...]

A Beautiful Thing

For a cost geek, there may be nothing more beautiful than a Class II Estimate from Exxon’s Golden Years… How did this system come about? I don’t really know, but perhaps some commenters to this site may provide insight (hint, hint…). I suspect it was something like this. A prescient executive foresaw the sort of [...]

The Wisdom of Crowds and Virtuoso Teams

The Many and the Few… There is a healthy creative tension between two ways of providing guidance and boosting your chances of success as you plan and execute your projects. One is heavy on the involvement of those actually doing the work, characterized by the Value Improving Processes (VIP’s). Get those directly involved on board [...]

Going Pro…

These articles point to some keys towards becoming a pro: (a) work done in a challenging environment, (b) in real time, with (c) real rewards on the line, (d) enjoyably, (e) committed, (f) with an expert attitude (e.g. keeping the lid of one’s mind’s open all the time; to inspect, criticize and augment its contents) [...]