ADC-BSC EAST 2013 Keynote: Reading the Tea Leaves: Predicting a Project’s Future

Payson Hall, Catalysis Group Inc.

Is a project’s fate preordained? Does a project’s past suggest its likely future? Can anything be done to influence that future when the current signs aren’t promising? Payson Hall has participated in and reviewed many projects during his thirty-year career in software development. Without claiming mystical or magical powers, Payson shares problem symptoms he has observed and discusses strategies for isolating and correcting them. He helps you learn to identify “problem seeds” that can grow into larger issues over time. For example, when a task exceeds its planned duration, questions that might help identify the cause include: Are the people assigned to the task working on something else? Has the schedule shifted the task into holidays, training, or vacations? Are tasks blocked awaiting information, materials, or approvals? Was the work clearly defined to begin with? Payson introduces a diagnostic framework that helps you determine the next steps in an investigation to identify root causes of project issues you observe and to formulate possible remedies.


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