Last night, the PMI Silicon Valley chapter evening program topic Avoiding Project Failure & Risk Management by Payson Hall gave some great insights on the commonalities between projects and gambling. The main connection is that you CANNOT predict the future, no matter how much planning you do or information you think you have to help you, so there is always some risk involved.
There are no FACTS about the future, only expectations and assumptions.
With projects, an organization wagers X resources to achieve Y results by Z date. Risk analysis allows project managers to continue a project based on credible estimates of project costs, benefits, schedule and risks. All projects have risk because risk cannot be eliminated.
Any project can fail, regardless of the pressure that may be brought to bear on the project success. In fact, there's an official name for projects that have for all intents and purposes have failed, but they still keep lumbering on because of political or other pressures: Zombie Projects. I had always called these projects Death Marches, but Zombies works for me too.
I liked how Payson addressed the my that Every Requested Project is Possible.Plenty of project team members try to turn themselves inside out to accomplished what's asked of them without anyone doing the analysis of whether the project is a good idea or even doable. At least in the way requested. Let alone, think about the consequences of failure. Especially after hundreds or thousands of people hours have been spent, let alone $$s or other resources.
All in all, Payson Hall's talk on the calcualated gamble of project management was a different spin on risk management. And a new perspective for me.
OK, first off, I'll admit I'm a fair weather cycling fan. I've only seen less than 5 races in person and I only follow the bike races that come on TV like the Ironman Hawaii, Giro d'Italia, Olympics Road Cycling and Tour de France. Since I like to putt putt on my bike around the neighborhood, I like to see the extreme those same bike riding skills can be taken.
That said, I want to share some of my favorite Tour de France blogs and websites. I like the ones that are clever, thorough and/or kind of dishy/gossipy. Thank goodness for these sites, because OLN as the official English language site of the TdF is NOT getting it done. You can hardly ever find anything on the site they advertise on TV as being on the site.
2005 was a long four day Fourth of July weekend. At night, I could hear the fireworks from Great America. I can even stand in my backyard and see some of the fireworks since Sunnyvale is so close to Santa Clara. But the days were what was memorable about the weekend.
On Saturday, I went to de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University to see Recovered Views: African American Portraits, 1912-1925. The exhibit contains black-and-white portraits were made by an anonymous African-American who lived and worked in Lincoln Nebraska in the early part of the twentieth century. Made between about 1912 and 1925, these portraits are more than just stunning images—they document life in a vibrant, middle-class black neighborhood in a small Midwestern city, a portion of society rarely depicted in any medium. You don't often see anything on African Americans in the west before World War II. There were at least 3 other photo exhibits by other artists on various topics.
Sunday, I got introduced to an excellent Vietnamese food place, Vung Tau II Restaurant in Milpitas. It's the kind of food that smells good, then when you bite into it, the food tastes even better than it smelled.
Today, I rode my bike over to the Sunnyvale4th of July celebration. Even though it was only about 12:20 pm, the food advertised by the city was sold out and all gone. The event only started at 11 am and was going until at least 2 pm. Excellent planning...NOT!!
Random thoughts and observations. My goal is to use a lot of $50 words and amuse myself. Networking is a big part of my life these days, so there are many links to folks I meet, seminars & events I've attended or articles I've heard about.