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Of all the project-management-related measurements a firm could make, there are three that are particularly critical and yet almost never measured. Each of these are measurements my team have made many times across many types of projects even though some might consider these to be “immeasurable.”
None of these measurements are new. Mature quantitative methods exist and have been applied to for each of these measurement problems. Also, each of these methods can be done using nothing more than the statistical functions available in Excel spreadsheets and the methods are simple enough that we cover them in a training course that takes one day.
Jack Jones, the inventor of the FAIR method for assessing cybersecurity risk, comments on a defense of NIST 800-30 by someone who commented on one of his blogs. I take Jack’s side on this. For those of you who have read my books, NIST 800-30 is one of the standards that promotes methods I spend a lot of time debunking (ordinal scales for risks, risk matrices, etc.).
Hubbard Decision Research conducted an analysis on behalf of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) to determine the impact of resorting an overgrazed area of Inner Mongolia known as the Kubuqi Desert. Once a green pastureland, this area along the Yellow river was overgrazed and became a desert. Over the last 30 years a Chinese corporation, Elion, has been working to restore this to a productive agricultural area with thriving communities.
Hubbard Decision Research showed how standards are worth more than $1 billion per year in the insurance industry. ACORD is a not-for-profit association created by the insurance industry to facilitate the development of standards for its members.
According to our recently completed “Measurement Challenges” survey, project risk and project management-related issues are the #1 most frequently identified measurement challenges, followed closely by change management and organizational transformation. The survey also showed that while only half have received training to address these problems, the majority feel they need training in statistical methods or even the analytical methods provided in Excel. This is a brief summary of the findings of that survey. (more…)