This Guest paper is an update of an earlier paper published on the Internet in June 1999.

It was submitted for publication on this web site and is Copyright to M.A. Seely & Q.P. Duong, 2005.
Published here January 2006.

PART I | Lowest Management Level | Expectation of Success
An Extrapolation of the Model | Learning Needs | Conclusion
Authors' Postscript | PART III

Expectation of Success

We know that there is a fundamental difference in project risk when, say, building a skyscraper versus building a battleship versus automating a financial system; but it is interesting that some construction projects go completely out of control, and the odd information technology project achieves its objectives. It is suggested that this is more than simply randomness or hit and miss. The DBM would explain this in terms of the position of the Lowest Static Baseline (LSB), regardless of the commodity type.

In the case where the LSB is the product design (i.e., MBR), it is not only anticipated that the project will be completed on time and on budget, but also expected that gains in efficiency will be realized through repeat applications in order to come out ahead on cost and schedule an expected efficiency of slightly over 100%. For MBM, a dynamic design baseline yields a typical overrun of up to 10%. In MBO projects, a dynamic requirements baseline yields a typical overrun in the range of 50%. In MBV projects, a dynamic objectives baseline yields a 90% failure rate.

The DBM would suggest that when high-level baselines are left in a state of ambiguity, the inclination to respond with classical (Level 2 or MBM) project management practices would not be appropriate. Therefore, to move forward with today's projects, classical project management approaches are not enough. For the 90% of IT projects that fail, we need to either stretch conventional thinking in project management to include principles appropriate to evolving objectives (MBV), or marginalize project management practice and develop something new.

Lowest Management Level  Lowest Management Level

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