A paper presented to the International Seminar on Project Management for Developing Countries, September 4 to 6, 1991, in New Delhi, India. The audience was made up of mostly construction people, but much of the following content could equally apply to large projects in other areas of application.

Executive Summary  | Index | Part 1 | Part 2 | Conclusions | References

On which Projects Should PMA be Conducted?

Some will argue that many projects, even large ones, are completed without any major difficulty and achieve their objectives quite satisfactorily. PMA therefore represents an unnecessary added cost, and for such projects this is probably true - but only in retrospect. Much more likely, such projects have in place some sort of PMA mechanism, which is the very reason why the results are indeed successful. At the very least, there is merit in conducting even a very minimal PMA simply to capture the ways and means for repeating such success on future similar projects.

On the other hand, the reality is that capital projects generally are becoming larger, more technology intensive, more complex, more urgent and financially more vulnerable. And all this is taking place in the context of increasingly technical specialization and consequently diminishing pool of talent that has the necessary broader construction project management training and experience.

Clearly, PMA is best suited to those projects on which there is significant risk of potential difficulties. This presupposes that the sponsoring organization has recognized the potential for risk on the project, and has, or will include risk management as a standard functional component of the project management effort.

Project risk management is a recognized project management functional area whose purpose is to identify, analyze and plan for, or protect against, various risk factors which may occur to the detriment of the project results. The responsibility of this function is to respond in a manner which is in the best interests of the project objectives.

For such an enlightened sponsor, it is but a small step to involve the PM Appraiser in the project risk identification stage of the project planning phase. In this way the mandate for the PMA can be determined, be it extensive or limited, and corresponding funding set aside as part of the sponsor's own budget for the project.

Why Conduct a PMA?  Why Conduct a PMA?

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