Traditional versus nontraditional projects

Executive View of Project Management

Old View

New View

Project management is a career path.

Project management is a strategic or core competency.

We need our people certified as PMP®s.

We need people certified in project management, business processes and possibly other areas such as program management and risk management.

Project management is a process for executing work.

Project management has evolved more into a business process than a pure project management process.

Our project managers need traditional organizational behavior training.

We need specialized training in organizational behavior, including such topics such as virtual teams, stakeholder relations management, and managing diversity.

Traditional versus NonTraditional Projects

Managing Traditional Projects

Managing NonTraditional Projects

Single-person sponsorship

Governance by committee

Possibly a single stakeholder

Multiple stakeholders

Project decision-making

Both project and business decision-making

An inflexible project management methodology

Flexible or “fluid” project management methodology

Periodic status reporting

Real-time reporting

Success is defined by the triple constraints of time, cost and scope.

Sucess is defined by competing constraints and value.

KPIs are derived from the earned-value measurement system.

Unique value-driven KPIs.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).


Standard Project Estimating

Standard Project Estimating

Estimating Method

Generic Type

WBS Relationship


Time to prepare


Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM)

Top Down

-25% to +75%




Top Down

-10% to +25%


Engineering (grass roots)


Bottom up

-5% to +10%


Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner (11th edition).

English: Project development stages

English: Project development stages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unmanaged versus managed changes

Unmanaged versus Managed Changes

Where time is invested

How Energy is Invested

Which Resources Are Used

Unmanaged Change


  • Rework

  • Enforcement

  • Compliance

  • Supervision

  • Senior management and key players only

Managed Change


  • Education

  • Communication

  • Planning

  • Improvements

  • Value Added

  • Stakeholders (Internal)

  • Suppliers

  • Customers

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th Edition).

Risk Interdependencies

Action Possible Benefit Risk
Work overtime Schedule compression More mistakes; higher cost and longer schedule
Add resources Schedule compression Higher cost and learning curve shift
Parallel work Schedule compression Rework and higher costs
Reduce scope Schedule compression and lower cost Unhappy customer and no follow-on work
Hire low-cost resources Lower cost More mistakes and longer time period
Outsource critical work Lower cost and schedule compression Contractor possesses critical knowledge at your expense

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach To Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner

Response Options for Risks and Opportunities

Summary of Response Options for Risks and Opportunities

Type of Response Use for Risk or Opportunity Description


Risk Eliminate risk by accepting another alternative, changing the design, or changing a requirement. Can affect the probability and/or impact.
Mitigation(Control) Risk Reduce probability and/or impact through active measures.
Transfer Risk Reduce probability and/or impact by transferring ownership of all or part of the risk to another party, use of insurance and warranties, by redesign across hardware/software or other interfaces, etc.
Exploit Opportunity Take advantage of opportunities.
Share Opportunity Share with another party who can increase the probability and/or impact of opportunities.
Enhance Opportunity Increase probability and/or impact of opportunity.
Acceptance Risk and Opportunity Assume the associated level of risk or opportunity without engaging in any special efforts to control it. Budget, schedule, and other resources must be held in reserve in case the risk or opportunity is selected.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling.

by Harold R Kerzner.

Dashboards and scorecards

Comparing features of dashboards and scorecards





Measure performance

Charts progress


Supervisors, specialists

Executives, managers and staff


Right-time feeds

Periodic snapshots





Visual graphs, raw data

Visual graphs, comments

Three Types of Performance Dashboards
Operational Tactical Strategic
Purpose Monitor operations Measure progress Execute strategy
Users Supervisors, specialists Managers, analysts Executives, managers, staff
Scope Operational Departmental Enterprise
Information Detailed Detailed/summary Detailed/summary
Updates Intra-day Daily/Weekly Monthly/quarterly
Emphasis Monitoring Analysis Management

Source:- Project Management: A Systems Approach To Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner.


Myths and realities of schedule compression

Compression Technique Myth Reality

Use of overtime

Work will progress at the same rate on overtime.

The rate of progress is less on overtime; more mistakes may occur; and prolonged overtime may lead to burnout.

Adding more resources (i.e., crashing)

The performance rate will increase due to the added resources.

It takes time to find the resources; it takes time to get them up to speed; the resources used for the training must come from the existing resources.

Reducing scope (i.e., needed. Reducing functionality)

The customer always requests more work than actually needed.

The customer needs all of the tasks agreed to in the statement of work.


Numerous qualified suppliers exist.

The quality of the suppliers’ work can damage your reputation; the supplier may go out of business; and the supplier may have limited concern for your scheduled dates.

Doing series work in parallel

An activity can start before the previous activity has finished.

The risks increase and rework becomes expensive because it may involve multiple activities.

Parallel Realities

Parallel Realities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach To Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner.