This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
Monday, September 22, 2003
PMI Congress Notes: Select and Prioritize Projects with the MESAŠ (Matrix for Evaluation of Strategic Alternatives) (Michel Thiry) -- Why do we select to pursue the projects we do? They should be based on improving an organization's competitiveness and effectiveness. The MESAŠ approach assesses projects in terms of benefits and achievability.
Benefits are not automatically available as deliverables of projects. Benefits come from the use of those deliverables. Achievability deals with demand and supply of resources necessary to deliver against the portfolio of beneficial projects.
Decision Science - Typically involves a mix of computer tech, math, statistics, behavioral science, but tends to be process oriented and not get involved in the measurement of the results of decisions. It also tends to use analysts to guide the decision process, who are too often isolated from the actual people/managers tasked with implementing their output. MESAŠ is designed to be a group process (not based on analysis and decision by an elite staff or management) and based on qualitative value concepts; a systems view of decisions and a big picture framework developed by the stakeholders involved.
Projects need to start thinking not in terms of what the project product is, but what it does. A solution is not the objective...resolution of a problem is. They are not the same.
Value - Two factors. Satisfaction of needs (offered benefits (including options) greater than or equal to expected benefits (critical success factors)) and resources expended (available resources vs required resources).
"It may not seem very important, I know, but it is, and that's why I'm bothering telling you so." - Dr. Seuss
Stakeholder Analysis - Identify and classify stakeholders. Measure their influence on program and its implementation (power and level and area of interest). Determine their needs and expectations: details for key stakeholders, defined and undefined reqs. Axis of questions: why? vs how? Theory and strategy vs means and details. (fp - equivalant to "in order to..., we must..." necessity logic used in TOC) These analyses result in identification of CSFs, which can then be prioritized via paired comparisons (sharing 5 points between each pair), normalized to a total weight of 100.
Identify Alternatives/Elaborate Options - First cut, scored options against weighted CSFs, ranked 1-10 on expected benefits. Options improvement for those not clear winners or losers.
Once relative values are assessed, achievability must be considered.
Achievability factors - Financial, parameters and quantitative constraints, human resources/people capabilities and competence, complexity (innovation, interdependence, number of stakeholders) Use up to 5 sub-factors for each, with clear definitions of high, medium, low scores, translating to scores of 10, 5, 2.5, and weighted for importance for the portfolio being considered. For each option, sum of products of subfactor scores times weightings.
Consider thresholds for benefits and achievabilty. Compare weighted benefit scores (x2) to weighted achievability scores. Grid provides guidance for thinking and actual decision making.
(fp - Not a bad process for weighted matrices, which I usually find too arbitrary and subject to manipulation. Worth looking into further.) posted by Frank - Permanent Link -