When we hear about new and possibly innovative ways of improving the probability of success of project work, ask this simple question...
How Do I Make Your Suggestion Actionable on My Project?
With the answer to that question in some unit of measure meanigful to the decision maker (you), the suggestion may be an interesting personal ancedote or observation, but it is not actionable. Let's start with a notion that we can determine what needs to be done to deliver value to the customer. Here's a typical agile view of what Done looks like. More formal descriptions can be found in Intergated Master Schedules or other planning tools, but the Scrum approach is a good start.
So there are a few questions:
- What's the capacity for work of the team?
- What's the actual probability each of those stories can be completed in the planned sprint, for the planned release, inside the planned Epic, so the customer start to book the value on the balance sheet to start earning back the cost of that development?
- What's the estimated cost of all those stories and features, so the customer can be assured the inverstment of the all-on project cost will be earned back on or before the planned break even date for the project?
If we don't have the answers to these questions and others, I'd suggest we're in the co-hacking mode according to Guy Strelitz, where we don't really care about the questions above. If that's your domain, what follows is of little value.
But if your customer is not in the co-hacking domain, there is likely a need to know the answers to the five immutable principles of project success:
- What does done look like?
- What's the plan to get to done?
- Do we have all the resources neded to reach done as planned?
- What impediments will we encounter along the way to done and how are we going to handle them?
- How are we going to measure physical progress to plan?
The answers to each of these needs to be in units of measure meanigful to the dedcision maker. Without these answers, the probability of success is going to be low.