Contingent Project Management – A Definition

In an IT systems context, contingent project management (“CPM”) is the capacity to choose an proper methodology to implement to and correctly deliver a project, tuning the process as the project proceeds. ‘Contingent Leadership Style’ is analogous. Wikipedia (Fiedler) offers an clarification of contingent leadership.

Yes, a project manager can have a contingent leadership model, but could not have a contingent project management solution.

Allow us seem at a vary of project management framework procedures:

Waterfall (collect needs, style, construct, test, deliver, coach) – the ‘traditional’ way of developing systems. This worked nicely for systems in which the fee of small business and technologies transform was very low, obtaining developed out of engineering and building. It continue to works nicely in a building (civil engineering) context, in which frequently, the fee of technologies transform is very low. Needs of a developing could transform in the course of building, but the fee of scope creep is continue to very low as when compared with lots of IT initiatives. In the correct conditions, it can continue to operate nicely with IT initiatives.

Agile techniques (collect and prioritise needs, style a prototype, test, deliver, re-cycle – style, construct, test, deliver, coach and go live). On the scale of very low risk/very low complexity to large risk/large complexity some of the methodologies would be: XP, Scrum, DSDM , RUP . Be aware that risk and complexity do not normally equate – some very low complexity systems can have profound organisational risk linked with them.

Prince could be employed in possibly of these contexts for governance of the project on a broader organisational scale, or locally on a lesser scale. Indeed, the introduction of Prince2 moved the methodology into a broader non-IT distinct context.

Agile methodologies are most proper for illustration in which needs are unclear at the outset, and/or the technologies is new or getting stretched, and/or a new small business model is getting adopted (to name just a few good reasons). The vary of Agile techniques also relate to scale of project and group sizing.

Subtle organisations could have their individual ‘pet’ methodology, it’s possible obtaining invested greatly (monetarily, managerially and politically) in creating their way of doing items, even ‘branding’ the methodology. After all this investment, they will want to ‘sweat this asset’. Projects will have to in shape into the corset they impose – this can bring about strangulation at the extraordinary, developing a large likelihood of failure into a project, even in advance of it is initiated.

After all, Prince was produced in the Uk Community Sector (and the Uk Government continue to has massive problems providing initiatives). At the top end of initiatives, Prince is normally witnessed as excessivley bureaucratic, but it shouldn’t be like that. CPM ought to be certain that the proper procedures are selected for a project and that they are utilized judiciously so that the project is not strangled by administration and purple-tape.

This choking of initiatives by heavy techniques was noticed by the writer in an investment financial institution. The project supervisors working a massive selection of lesser initiatives were unable to fulfill the centralised project reporting needs imposed on them, leading to annoyance in the supervisors, annoyance in the programme office environment, and annoyance in and with the ‘methodology police’. The recommended alternative was to

– Prioritise the initiatives according to risk (measured on quite a few proportions), report project status on an ‘exceptions’ basis, and tune reporting frequency to project risk.

This levelled the project managers’ workload, and the centralised need to have for command of risk and comfort.

So, what of contingent project management?

It is distinct that a significant diploma of practical experience is needed to be in a position to choose the proper methodology for a project, and the programme board is not normally finest put to come to a decision for good reasons outlined previously – investment and political cash for illustration.

An powerful project manager will have

– the knowledge and practical experience to choose the right resource for the occupation centered on his or her notion of the risk profile the capacity to persuade the programme board or sponsor of the relevance of the methodology and the basis of collection worked with a selection of methodologies practical experience enabling the ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ contact application of a methodology an innate feeling of the challenges and their relative salience, meaning that a focus is produced and managed on the items that issue at last, the capacity to dynamically tune the methodology to conditions without having decline of command (finance, timeline and high-quality), as the ‘things that matter’ transform

Dynamic tuning signifies making use of the resource judiciously – some initiatives could have to have very large levels of stakeholder interaction, other people will have to be remarkably centered on technologies/ performance and proof of principle, other people could have political governance problems, new or immature small business models, and so on. Some initiatives, of study course, will exhibit all of these challenges and much more further than. This list and balance of challenges will transform drastically in the course of the lifecycle of the project. In addition to ongoing Risk evaluate, CPM requires ongoing process evaluate and transform.

How is it that much more than thirty% of initiatives fail? It is due to the fact failing initiatives carry on in the very same aged vein, without having contingent project management getting deployed and the management not responding properly to variations in challenges.

Contingent Project Management is truly straightfoward in principle: adapt and endure – that is, Darwinism. To implement it correctly requires a wonderful offer of practical experience and flexibility.


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