Project Decisions: The Art and Science – Table of Content

Preface

Test Your Judgment

Answers to Test Your Judgment Quiz

Part 1: Introduction to Project Decision Analysis

Chapter 1 Project Decision Analysis: What Is It?

  •    The “Burden of Wrong Decisions”
  •    Why do we make wrong decisions?
  •    Approaches to Decision-Makings
  •    Decision Analysis as a Process
  •    Normative and Descriptive Decision Theory
  •    Driving Forces Behind Project Decision Analysis
  •    A Little Bit of History
  •    Decision Analysis Today

Chapter 2 “Gut Feel” vs. Decision Analysis: Introduction to Psychology of Project Decision-Making

  •   Human Judgment Is Always to Blame
  •   Blink or Think?
  •   Cognitive and Motivational Biases
  •   Perception
  •   Bounded Rationality
  •   Heuristics and Biases
  •   Behavioral Traps
  •   Frames and Accounts
  •   Training Project Decision-Making Skills

Chapter 3 Understanding Decision Analysis Process

  •    Decision Analysis Manifesto
  •    3C Principle of Project Management
  •    Decision Analysis Process versus PMBOK® Guide’s Project Risk Management
  •    Decision analysis and other business processes
  •    Phases of Decision Analysis Process
  •    Big and Small Decisions
  •    The value of project decision analysis

Chapter 4 What is Rational Choice or a Brief Introduction to Decision Theory

  • Decision Policy
  • Which choice is rational?
  • Expected Value
  • The St. Petersburg Paradox
  • Risk Taker versus Risk Avoider
  • Expected Utility
  • Expected Utility Theory
  • Expected Utility Theory Extensions
  • How to Use Expected Utility Theory
  • Descriptive Models of Decision-Making

Chapter 5 Creativity in Project Management

  • Creativity and Decision-Making
  • Psychology of Creativity
  • Creativity Blocks

Chapter 6 Group Judgment and Decisions

  • Psychology of Group Decision-Making
  • Aggregating Judgment
  • Group Interaction Techniques
  • Brainstorming
  • Tools for facilitation discussions
  • A Few Words About Game Theory

Chapter 7 Are You Allowed to Make a Decision or the Frustrated Developer’s Syndrome (FDS)

  • What is FDS?
  • Why FDS is a problem
  • How does FDS Spread?
  • A few common myths about FDS
  • The fundamental roots of FDS
  • Treating FDS
  • The Second Russian Revolution

Part 2: Decision Framing

Chapter 8 Identifying Problems and Assessing Situations

  • Who Are the Players?
  • Identifying problems and opportunities
  • Assessing Business Situations
  • Some Tools and Techniques

Chapter 9 Defining Project Objectives

  • Different Objectives and Different Criteria for Decision Making
  • Aligning Project Objectives
  • Decision Analysis as an Art of Trade-Offs
  • Project Objectives Hierarchy

Chapter 10 Generating Alternatives and Identifying Risks

  • Identifying Risks and Uncertainties
  • Generating alternatives
  • Risk Breakdown Structures
  • Risk Templates
  • Risk Response Planning
  • Risk Registers

Part 3: Modeling the Situation

Chapter 11 The Psychology and Politics of Estimating

  •    How do people make estimates?
  •    How we think when we make estimates?
  •    Politics and Motivational Biases
  •    Psychological Problems with Estimation and Rule of PI
  •    Other Cognitive Biases in Estimates
  •    Other Explanations of Problems with Estimation
  •    Where Is The Problem: Psychology or Politics?
  •    Many mental errors and one wrong estimate
  •    Simple remedies

Chapter 12 Project Valuation Models

  •    Model of the Project
  •    Critical Path Method
  •    Critical Chain Method
  •    Event Chain Methodology
  •    Modeling Using Influence Diagrams
  •    Project Model and Agile Approach

Chapter 13 Estimating Probabilities

  •    Subjective Probabilities
  •    How people assess probability and risk
  •    Methods of Eliciting Judgment in Project Management
  •    What If Decision Is Very Sensitive to Probability
  •    Qualitative Risk Analysis

Part 4: Quantitative Analysis

Chapter 14 What Is Most Important or Sensitivity Analysis and Correlations

  •    What Are Correlations And Why Do We Need to Analyze Them?
  •    Sources of Correlation in Projects
  •    Psychology of Correlation and Causation
  •    How to Improve Your Judgment
  •    Sensitivity Analysis
  •    Quantitative Analysis of Correlations
  •    Crucial Tasks
  •    Correlations between Tasks

Chapter 15 Decision Trees and the Value of New Information

  •    What is Decision Tree?
  •    Why project managers avoid decision trees (and why they shouldn’t)
  •    Converting project schedules into decision trees
  •    Value of Perfect Information
  •    Value of Imperfect Information

Chapter 16 What Is Project Risk? or PERT and Monte Carlo

  •    How much will it really cost?
  •    PERT
  •    Statistical Distributions
  •    Monte Carlo Technique: How it Works
  •    Which Distribution Should Be Used?
  •    How many trials are required
  •    Analysis of Monte Carlo Results
  •    Conclusion: Is Monte Carlo the Ultimate Solution?

Chapter 17 Series of Unfortunate Events or Event Chain Methodology

  •    How events can affect a project
  •    Basic Principles of Event Chain Methodology
  •    Event Chain Methodology Phenomena
  •    How to Use Event Chain Methodology
  •    Event Chain Methodology Example
  •    Event Chain Methodology and Mitigation of Psychological Biases
  •    WBS + RBS + Analysis = Event Chain Methodology

Chapter 18 The Art of Decision Analysis Reporting

  •    How to Communicate Results of Decision Analysis
  •    Motivational Biases and Reporting Decision Analysis Results
  •    Put it into perspective
  •    Presentations must be meaningful
  •    Expression of uncertainty
  •    The power of fear

Chapter 19 Making a Choice with Multiple Objectives

  •    What is Multi-Criteria Decision Making?
  •    Psychology of Balancing Multiple Objectives
  •    Two approaches to multi-criteria decision making
  •    Ranking criteria with the Scoring Model
  •    Advanced methods of multi-criteria decision making

Part 5: Implementation, Monitoring and Reviews

Chapter 20 Adaptive Project Management

  •    Adaptive Management as a part of project decision analysis
  •    Principle 1: Using actual project data in combination with original assumptions
  •    Principle 2: Minimizing the cost of decision reversions (“Trying not to kill the cow”)
  •    Principle 3: Making small sequential decisions
  •    Principle 4: Supporting creative business environments
  •    Principle 5: Early identification and fixing of issues (Avoiding Behavioral Traps)
  •    PMBOK® Guide approach to project executing, monitoring and controlling

Chapter 21 Did You Make the Right Choice or Reviewing Project Decisions

  •    Why Do We Need Post-Project Reviews?
  •    How could we not to foresee it?
  •    I knew it all along
  •    Overestimating the Accuracy of Past Judgments
  •    Peak-End Rule
  •    Process of reviewing decisions
  •    Corporate Knowledge Base

Conclusion: Does Decision Analysis Provide a Solution?

  •    Common Misconceptions about Decision Analysis
  •    Why do we believe that the decision analysis process is so important?

Appendixes

Appendix A. Risk and Decision Analysis Software

  •    Quantitative Project Risk Analysis Software
  •    Enterprise Level Risk Management Software
  •    Brainstorming Software Used in Project Management
  •    Other Decision and Risk Analysis Software Used in Project Management

Appendix B. Heuristics and Biases in Project Management

  •    Why we included this list
  •    Behavioral Biases and Biases Related to Perception
  •    Biases in Estimation of Probability and Belief
  •    Social and Group Biases
  •    Memory Biases and Effects

Appendix C. Risk Templates

  •    Generic Risk Template #1
  •    Generic Risk Template #2
  •    Risk Template for Software Development Project

Appendix D. Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Methodologies

Glossary

Future Reading

References

Index