The Chaos Manifesto


  • Author Gilbert Russell
  • Published June 2, 2010
  • Word count 535

The Chaos Manifesto

"Your best person will leave at the worst possible time."

Turnover is a fact of life and when this happens, it can have devastating effects and put a project in peril.

How many companies have an enterprise-wide view of their project management capability?

Without having a quantified baseline of an organisation’s project management capability a number of negatives can result:

-Key positions are filled by who is available rather than who is most qualified

-Single point dependencies are not mitigated by a second person

-Single point dependencies may not even be identified

-Each project brings increasing risk to the organization as the ability of staff to perform their functions is unknown

The Chaos Manifesto:

"Successful projects need smart, well trained people. Competency is the quality of being adequately or well qualified to perform the tasks and assignments dictated by the project requirements. Competency is having the right level of skills necessary to perform the work to complete the project activities within the specified times and schedules. It is also the ability to demonstrate these qualifications to provide confidence to other project participants."

The Solution:

-Have a quantified baseline of individuals’ project management competence

-Have a quantified baseline of an organisation’s project management capability

From the baselines an organization can:

-Conduct targeted upskilling to address high risk weaknesses in organizational capability

-Profile staff and baseline their current Competency levels

-Establish a performance management benchmark

-Allow for informed decisions

-Identify education and development needs

Benefits of this Approach:

-Cost savings are generated through increased efficiencies

-More projects are delivered on time

-There exists greater shareholder engagement and satisfaction

-Stakeholder confidence in the organisation’s ability to deliver on its projects is increased

Project Risk Management

Project Risk Management is the proactive and continual identification, analysis, treatment, and control of risk. This is not only critical to the success of each project but also to the risk of the profile of the organization.

No project has ever gone completely to plan. There are always challenges which may or may not impact project success and in dealing with these issues it is worth noting what Project Risk Management is not:

-Identifying and analyzing risks, then doing nothing to prevent them. Prevention is always better than after the event damage control.

-Having a Risk Management method and/or templates. Ultimately people manage risks and in many cases there are no guidelines on what to do in a certain situation.

"Risk is part of every project, but unnecessary risk should be avoided."

"Inaction is the purest form of failure."

Impact on Project Success:

Sir Isaac Newtown’s First Law of Motion states "Nothing happens unless it is made to happen". No project will run itself to time, people must make the project run to time. The longer the project runs over time the greater the probability:

-That the business may morph into something else

-That the business opportunity may pass

-That key resources will leave the projects

-That the project’s benefits will be reduced

-That key stakeholders will become disenchanted with the project and the Project Resources

This is why key project management training is necessary to make the management process run smoothly and efficiently.

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