A business case is a management argument supporting an investment or procurement
judgement. Specifically, it supports the adoption by a specific organization
of a specific solution, and is centred around what people might actually
|A quantity added to a budget or schedule to allow for
|A specified response to a specified event.
|A variation in style or tactics for different conditions.
A numerical claim about the costs, delivery schedule or other characteristics
of a current or future project. Estimates are typically expected to satisfy
several contradictory expectations.
||To be an accurate prediction or forecast of the project.
||To be a commitment on the part of project manager and project team.
||To be a bargaining counter between the project and its customers. (Customers
assume estimates are inflated and try to bargain them downwards; projects
inflate estimates as a precaution against customers trying to bargain them
There are several common uses of the word 'plan'.
|Ja, mach nur einen Plan.
Sei nur ein grosses Licht!
Und mach dann noch 'nen zweiten Plan
Gehn tun sie beide nicht.
[Brecht, The Threepenny Opera]
|Make a single plan -
so everyone's enlightened.
'Cos if you make a second plan
everyone'll be too frightened.
In Lucy Suchman's excellent book, plans are contrasted with what she calls
Plan as endproduct. A preconfiguration or blueprint, as in a building
plan or an urban development plan.
Plan as process. A scheme or schedule of activity, as in a military
plan of action, or development programme.
Plan as policy. A set of rules or guidelines, intended to achieve
a given endproduct or process.
A report exaggerating the extent to which the plan has been fulfilled.
[source B. Kagarlitsky, The Dialectics of
Change (Verso, 1990) p 255]
Pripiska is a key component of what John Gall calls the Potemkin
Village Effect (PVE). "The PVE is especially pronounced in Five-Year Plans,
which typically report sensational over-achievement during the first four-and-a-half
years, followed by a rash of criminal trials of the top officials and the
announcement of a new and more ambitious Five-Year Plan, starting from
a baseline somewhat lower than that of the preceding Plan,
but with higher goals.
[source John Gall, Systemantics]
issue, error, gap, inconsistency, hole, lack, opportunity
Literally, a problem is something that sticks out, demanding some kind
of intervention or resolution. Most solvable problems take the form
of the actual falling short of the possible.
Usually, problems only trigger action when they are judged to be of
sufficient size or value.
Within various discourses, there is an imperative to replace the word
‘problem’ with some other word or phrase. For example, some managers
adopt a no-nonsense practical manner, repeating such catch-phrases as:
“We don’t have problems, we have opportunities”, or “Don’t bring me problems,
bring me solutions”. (This leads to the ironic use of substitute
words as opportunity or challenge, as in “intractable opportunity”.)
At the other extreme, there is resistance to the notion that there might
be anything so straightforward as a problem. In this discourse, the
word problem is replaced by such sociologically correct euphemisms as “problematic
If the former can be interpreted as a form of resistance to the latter,
perhaps the converse is also true. There can often be an interesting
opposition between these two extreme attitudes towards problems.
Not just a mega-project, but an assembly of projects and other activities,
often with political conflicts over values and intentions, as well as resources
and technical matters.
A project is a parcel of work. A project has an objective, a scope, and
a set of participant/roles, although these terms of reference often change
over the duration of the project. A project may be established by a contract,
or other explicit agreement. A project usually has a sponsor and a project
A hypothetical future event that causes a change to some future outcome
or scenario, thereby reducing the value of something. A lack of knowledge
about the future.
Risk management addresses the extent to which individuals and groups
within the organization face up to (or retreat from) the challenges and
uncertainties of the task.
Scope, Scoping, Scope-Creep
Scoping is the separation (cut) between what is included in and what is
excluded from some entity. The entity may be a project, system, document
or other artefact.
Scoping includes both defining where the separation line is drawn (planning,
design) and maintaining / enforcing the separation (management, governance,
Scope creep occurs when the line is moved - usually outwards.
Thus what was excluded is now included, making something (such as a project)
A person or community that possesses intentions and
attributes value to things. A person or community that is
regarded as having a legitimate interest or "stake" in something
- for example a system or project.
|in asssociation with
This page last updated on May 10th, 2004
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