Adaptive Management. Intaver Institute Inc. 303, 6707, Elbow Drive S.W, Calgary, AB, Canada Tel: +1(403)692-2252 Fax: +1(403)459-4533 www.intaver.com. Power of Adaptation. Will Polar Bears Be Extinct Because of Global Warming?.
Intaver Institute Inc.
303, 6707, Elbow Drive S.W, Calgary, AB, Canada
Will Polar Bears Be Extinct Because of Global Warming?
Hopefully not, as they are capable of adapting to changing conditions
Proposed by ecologists C.S. Holling and Carl J. Walters as a framework for managing ecological problems
Adaptive management of fish stocks
Adaptive management is a structured and systematic process for continually improving decisions, management policies, and practices by learning from the outcomes of previous decisions.
From the Agile Manifesto:
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
The PMBOK® Guide (Project Management Institute, 2004) does not explicitly use the term adaptive management.
However, you will find important information related to adaptive management in two process groups: project execution and project monitoring and controlling.
The project monitoring and controlling process group includes the following project management processes:
Except one creature
This creature is the project manager
Why? - Human psychology
People tend to resist any inconsistencies for themselves and others
A police interrogation technique is based on an attempt to find inconsistency in the statements.
The ability to change direction based on external input is an important skill for project managers.
X-33’s composite liquid hydrogen fuel tank failed during testing in November 1999.
Lockheed Martin proposed to complete the development of the X-33 by replacing its two composite liquid hydrogen tanks with aluminum tanks. But NASA concluded that the benefits of testing the X-33 in flight did not justify the cost.
X-33 investment: $912 million
NASA overcame the sunk cost effect: a cost incurred in the past that affects present or future decisions. Sunk costs should be ignored.
Organizations expect managers to make decisions, even if managers do not have enough reliable information required to make these decisions.
Decisiveness is a clear plan that: outlines when, where, and how to collect missing information, and when and how to make decisions.
Or how people make irreversible decisions
Three irreversible decisions
Project Metrics are used as part of active learning and hypothesis testing
What will happen with this schedule if certain risks occur?
Identify risks with probabilities and impacts
Some tasks are 100% complete
Other tasks are partially complete or incomplete
What will happen if the project schedule is based on
information about actual performance?
Forecast: Low, Most likely, and High estimates
Original (baseline) project duration
Project is partially done (actual data)
Cost forecast (with risks)
Actual cash flow
Original cost estimate
Monte Carlo cost risk analysis provides insight into validity of current cost estimates
Monte Carlo risk analysis can be performed in Agile projects
When a risk occurs can drastically affect your project outcomes
A small test will help determine the “adaptive management maturity” in your organization.
A young engineer comes to the senior manager with a proposal to save $10 million on a $50 million project. According to his plan, the project will be completed on time, but 20% of the work will need to be redone.
How would the manager respond?
A project manager and his team fail badly on a project. The project manager must explain what happened to senior management. Senior management does not understand the scope of the project. How would the project manager explain the situation?
When did your organization or team last have a meaningful project review or evaluation?
Do you use an iterative project development process in your organization?
1.Whenever possible, do not define a detailed project plan upfront, instead use an iterative project management approach.
2. Always identify multiple project alternatives or hypotheses; model these alternatives; and if it is deemed beneficial, start implementing a few alternatives at the same time.
3. Use quantitative risk analysis at each phase and iteration of the project.
4. Integrate original assumptions and new learnings when planning next project iterations.
5. Try to minimize the cost of decision reversals; minimize risk by keeping the option to change project direction available.
6. Ensure that adaptive management is implemented within a creative business environment, which is characterized by a collaborative structure for stakeholder participation and learning.
Lev Virine and Michael Trumper
The Art and Science
Management Concepts, Vienna, VA, 2007
Lev Virine and Michael Trumper
Why Good Managers Make Poor Project Choices