I came across a nice blog post from DelancyPlace about the navigation powers of birds.
This bird was taken from Wale's to Venice Italy and released and found it's way home in 14 days. 930 miles, over mountains .
To be able to find their way home from an unfamiliar place, birds must carry a figurative map and compass in their brains.
The map tells them where they are, and the compass tells them which direction to fly, even when they are released with no frame of reference to their home loft.
Projects Are Not Birds
As project managers, what's our map and compass? How can we navigate from the start of the project to the end, even though we haven't been on this path before.
How can we find our way Home?
We have a map. It starts with a Capabilities Based Plan. The CBP states what Done looks like in units of measure meaningful to the decision makers. These units of measure are Measures of Effectiveness and Measures of Performance.
Measures of Effectiveness - are operational measures of success that are closely related to the achievements of the mission or operational objectives evaluated in the operational environment, under a specific set of conditions.
- Measures of Performance - characterize physical or functional attributes relating to the system operation, measured or estimated under specific conditions.
These measures speak to our home and the attributes of the home. The map that gets us ti home is the Integrated Master Plan. This shows the increasing maturity of the deliverables that implement the Measures of Performance and those Performance items that enable the project to produce the needed capabilities that are effectively accomplish the mission or fulfill the business need.
This looks like a map for the increasing value delivery for an insurance company. The map shows the path or actually paths to home. Home is the ability to generate value from the exchange of money to develop the software.