Creative, flexible, just-enough project management means using the right tool for the situation. Sometimes that means streamlining your processes and making everything less detailed. But in some situations, "just enough" requires a more systematic approach. After all, the ultimate goal is always a successful, usable project outcome. |
Last month, guest contributor Chris Hill launched his series on holistic methodologies -- Six Sigma approaches that can be used in traditional project management lifecycles. This month his series continues with an explanation of Failure Modes and Effect Analysis for waterfall projects. If your project has a lot of possible failure points and feature-related risks, it might be just what you're looking for to achieve comprehensive risk management without going overboard.
Planning Gone Wrong
Planning Gone Wrong: Operation Sea Lion
I listen to audio books while I am driving (as long as I am the only one in the car) and when I am working outside. The book I am listening to now, admittedly for the third time, is The Second World War by Winston Churchill. The narrator of the series is a dead ringer from Winston Churchill, so it brings an additional amount of reality to the account. The part I was listening to a couple of days ago made me think about the importance of collaboration in endeavors when there are multiple organizations involved. In this particular case, Churchill was talking about Operation Sea Lion, the planned German invasion of the United Kingdom in fall 1940.
Those of you with even a passing familiarity with WWII history are no doubt saying, "Hold on, Germany never invaded the United Kingdom." And you would be correct. The reasons why the Germans did not invade, at least as Churchill tells it, provides an excellent example of how lack of collaboration in planning and preparing for an endeavor, project, or invasion, can lead to failure.
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Holistic Methodologies – New Template!
Six Sigma and PMLC/SDLC Series: Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
When I first started using Six Sigma tools and was introduced to FMEA, I thought it would be as complex as the name implies. I was wrong. The concepts behind FMEA are really quite simple and logical. Looking at risk from a hazard perspective just takes a slightly different mindset. Using the FMEA mindset can benefit all phases of the risk management lifecycle.
Fundamentally, FMEA and Project Risk Management are one and the same, but FMEA uses a more systematic approach to failure modes analysis. While traditional risk management does cover failure modes, typically it's concerned with the inherent risk of project execution on a more holistic level. In contrast, FMEA focuses on the impact of product feature failure modes. This results in a different approach to the risk analysis; some questions are very similar, and some may feel very different from the traditional process.
Read the rest of the article and get the free template »
PM Light™ FastRAMP: Just 2 More Weeks to Register!
Enrollment for our incredibly practical PM Light™ FastRAMP series closes June 10! If you haven't reserved your seat, you could miss this popular class explaining how to find "just enough" project management to make your project work. Every session is available through both live web sessions and on-demand recordings. Either way you learn how to best use valuable PM approaches on different sizes and types of projects, without feeling like a micromanager. You get new tools and techniques you can use immediately, and you'll earn 12 PDUs for completing the full course.
Register by June 10 to be included in the class. Premium subscribers save $40! Group rates are available for groups of 5 or more.
Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
Keeping Status Visible
Almost no one looks forward to sitting around a table listening to other people status action items for an hour or two. In this mini-course, Agile expert Kent McDonald explains how your team can do effective status reporting in unique and visible ways that avoid those extended status meetings. Keep people informed with the minimum of overhead and effort using these unique techniques, even if you're using traditional phase-based management approaches. 1 PDU.
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
- Showing Your Team What Urgent Looks Like - Learn how a VP and PM worked together to turn around a flailing project and helped their team cultivate the necessary sense of urgency in their daily work without browbeating anyone. MEMBER
- End of Execution Phase Checklist - As your project is wrapping up, have you completed all the activities necessary to successful delivery? SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until June 11, 2015
- Medical Product Risk Management Process - This ISO-compliant process provides an overview of scrupulous risk management in safety-critical environments. PREMIUM
- Training Plan - High Level - This high-level guideline helps you plan a training project, whether standalone or part of a larger project that will require user training.
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero will present "Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: the Complete Project Manager" in London May 14-15, 2015, after the PMI EMEA Global Congress. They will also cover this topic in Orlando July 20-23 at PMI Mega SeminarsWorld, and October 7-10 prior to the PMI North America Global Congress.
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