The subjective CAN be made objective
The last High Influence factor, agency commitment, makes an interesting point about the protocol. Project managers are asked to agree with one of three statements:
- My agency’s commitment is uncertain. Potential benefits haven’t been demonstrated, and/or additional funding is required, and the likelihood of full funding approval cannot be predicted.
- My agency’s commitment could change. The project offers well-documented benefits and, although additional funding is needed, approval is likely.
- My agency’s commitment is unconditional. The project is of the highest priority, offers proven benefits, and all necessary funding is in place.
Rogers quickly learned that even factors as subjective as “commitment” could be, and usually are, answered objectively. If there’s some doubt, a third party, usually a division head, is asked to review particular answers.
This evaluation factor also shows that assessing risk is largely common sense. Obviously, if department commitment is uncertain due to questions about benefits or funding, that is a signal of risk. Capturing this inherent common sense in a way that allows scoring and the comparing of scores is the instrument’s greatest strength.
Consider a similar set of questions on the topic of scheduling:
- Externally Imposed Deadline: Can’t be missed without violating the terms of a court order, grant, or other legally enforceable agreement involving a substantial financial impact.
- Public Deadline: Can’t be missed without causing adverse financial, operational, or public service delivery impacts.
- Internal Deadline: Can’t be missed without causing adverse impacts.
- Soft Deadline: No deadline or deadline that can be missed without causing adverse impacts.
Again, once identified, the effect on risk of various scheduling scenarios is intuitively obvious.
Next page: Numbers don’t tell the whole story