Illusion of Control (Coping YES, Control NO)

Opinion / Program and Project Management

Illusion of Control (Coping YES, Control NO)
Peter Jetter , Coach, Germany

Inherent unpredictability makes co-evolution(adaptation) more effective than plan&execute.

My area of expertise is "New Product Introduction" and "emerging technologies".
Complex systems(High Availabilty SW+HW) are combined into unique customer solutions. Deviations between projects are large.
The challenge is to create Service Capability effectively. Professional Services like Planning&Design, Network Implementation, Consulting and System Integration or Care need to be enabled to deliver their services profitably.

Probability, that you can predict the system(business environment) state -with sufficient accuracy- one year ahead, is very small. The costs from risks outside your sphere of influence are orders of magnitudes higher than from within. And since small changes often have large impacts, the number of relevant risks is practically infinite. The effort&costs to pre-plan risks grow hyper-exponentially.

Applying methods from standardized mass production (lean, six sigma etc) onto project-specific solutions with a majority of intangible deliverables is not effective in my view. Nor are a priori-planning based methodologies like classic PMI or Prince2( PRojects IN Controlled Environments).

Seemingly best solution for me: focus on next step within the current context. Co-evolution of "wants" and "haves" in small intervals. "agile"

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