Contingent Project Management – A Definition

In an IT systems context, contingent project management (“CPM”) is the skill to choose an proper methodology to apply to and effectively produce a task, tuning the process as the project proceeds. ‘Contingent Leadership Style’ is analogous. Wikipedia (Fiedler) offers an explanation of contingent management.

Sure, a task manager can have a contingent leadership type, but could not have a contingent project management technique.

Permit us glance at a array of project management framework procedures:

Waterfall (collect demands, layout, create, exam, deliver, practice) – the ‘traditional’ way of making techniques. This worked perfectly for devices where the rate of business and technological innovation change was lower, getting developed out of engineering and design. It nevertheless will work nicely in a design (civil engineering) context, exactly where normally, the rate of technological innovation change is very low. Requirements of a building could change through development, but the rate of scope creep is however minimal as in contrast with several IT tasks. In the proper circumstances, it can still work perfectly with IT projects.

Agile methods (get and prioritise specifications, layout a prototype, check, supply, re-cycle – design and style, build, exam, deliver, teach and go are living). On the scale of minimal hazard/lower complexity to high hazard/significant complexity some of the methodologies would be: XP, Scrum, DSDM ®, RUP ®. Notice that possibility and complexity do not often equate – some low complexity systems can have profound organisational possibility connected with them.

Prince ® could be employed in either of these contexts for governance of the undertaking on a broader organisational scale, or domestically on a scaled-down scale. Without a doubt, the introduction of Prince2 moved the methodology into a broader non-IT specific context.

Agile methodologies are most ideal for instance the place prerequisites are unclear at the outset, and/or the engineering is new or staying stretched, and/or a new business model is becoming adopted (to name just a few reasons). The array of Agile techniques also relate to scale of challenge and crew measurement.

Complex organisations may perhaps have their individual ‘pet’ methodology, probably obtaining invested heavily (financially, managerially and politically) in establishing their way of undertaking points, even ‘branding’ the methodology. Soon after all this expense, they will want to ‘sweat this asset’. Tasks will have to fit into the corset they impose – this can cause strangulation at the severe, setting up a substantial probability of failure into a job, even right before it is initiated.

Just after all, Prince ® was made in the Uk Public Sector (and the Uk Government continue to has huge problems delivering jobs). At the top rated finish of assignments, Prince is usually viewed as excessivley bureaucratic, but it should not be like that. CPM really should make sure that the suitable processes are picked for a undertaking and that they are used judiciously so that the project is not strangled by administration and purple-tape.

This choking of tasks by major methods was observed by the creator in an financial investment bank. The venture supervisors running a huge range of lesser initiatives ended up unable to satisfy the centralised undertaking reporting needs imposed on them, main to irritation in the managers, stress in the programme business office, and disappointment in and with the ‘methodology police’. The proposed solution was to

– Prioritise the tasks according to possibility (measured on several dimensions), report venture status on an ‘exceptions’ basis, and tune reporting frequency to challenge risk.

This levelled the job managers’ workload, and the centralised need to have for control of danger and ease and comfort.

So, what of contingent project management?

It is clear that a major degree of expertise is essential to be capable to pick out the suitable methodology for a undertaking, and the programme board is not normally most effective put to determine for good reasons outlined previously – expense and political capital for case in point.

An helpful venture supervisor will have

– the wisdom and expertise to choose the correct device for the job based on his or her notion of the chance profile the capability to persuade the programme board or sponsor of the relevance of the methodology and the foundation of collection worked with a selection of methodologies experience enabling the ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ touch application of a methodology an innate perception of the pitfalls and their relative salience, this means that a concentration is designed and managed on the things that make a difference eventually, the potential to dynamically tune the methodology to situation with no loss of management (finance, timeline and high-quality), as the ‘things that matter’ change

Dynamic tuning implies making use of the instrument judiciously – some initiatives may well call for incredibly higher ranges of stakeholder communication, many others will have to be extremely concentrated on technology/ performance and evidence of notion, other folks may well have political governance issues, new or immature business versions, and so on. Some assignments, of system, will exhibit all of these pitfalls and more beyond. This list and balance of pitfalls will change appreciably through the lifecycle of the undertaking. In addition to ongoing Risk assessment, CPM involves ongoing course of action review and change.

How is it that a lot more than 30% of assignments fall short? It is due to the fact failing assignments keep on in the very same outdated vein, devoid of contingent project management getting deployed and the management not responding appropriately to modifications in dangers.

Contingent Project Management is really straightfoward in basic principle: adapt and survive – that is, Darwinism. To utilize it properly requires a excellent deal of practical experience and flexibility.