The following article is adapted from Chapter 6.2: "Practical Project Management: Tips, Tactics, and Tools", Harvey A. Levine. John Wiley & Sons, 2002, with the authorís permission.
Lots of things make me nervous, but none like the sight of a Sigma, that weird, E-like gizmo that signifies the sum of a series of often obscure values.
I was reminded of this phobia when I browsed through a series of articles on Decision Analysis. I'm wondering if there are other people like myself, who prefer a more visual and pragmatic approach. I'm not knocking Monte Carlo, Decision Trees, and other Probabilistic Techniques. It's just that I'm not mathematically oriented, and can't get comfortable with this stuff. I can't even pronounce Taguchi, let alone understand Taguchi methods. Can we take something called "Fuzzy Logic" seriously?
I wholeheartedly support the premise, presented periodically, that CPM, and its various network modeling techniques, cannot be relied upon as a sole determination of a project schedule, or the basis for schedule-driven resource and cost planning. Certainly, we must recognize that we can rarely capture, in such a CPM model, all of the conditions that can affect the project schedule.
Given the above, and the desire (necessity) to manage project risks, are there pragmatic means, other than these structured probabilistic techniques, that we can use to identify, quantify, and minimize risk? The answer, I believe, is a resounding "YES"! And these pragmatic means are available to anyone using today's typical project management software products.