We often hear that projects end up costing more than estimated or that the completion date has been pushed back many times. Most project managers have heard of Cobb's paradox. What does this paradox mean? Despite having various project management processes at our disposal, today's project manager working with a range of methodologies, techniques and with supporting software, the projects still often do not get delivered as planned. A pretty dismal perspective, right?
''The paradox stems from a question that Martin Cobb posed in 1995 at a meeting of the Canadian Treasury Board Secretariat at which overruns on major projects were brought up.''
The PMO analyzes recurring errors
A project management office can do something with Cobb's paradox. If a PMO is set up properly, it provides insight into all project within the organization. The PMO can figure out why a project went over or over budget.
For example, by finding out exactly what caused the budget overrun or delay during a project review, valuable information is gathered. If this process is followed over an extended period of time and across all projects, the PMO can perform analysis and determine if a common root cause can be identified.
''A 'Root Cause' or root cause is defined as a factor that caused an abnormality and must be permanently remedied through process improvement. The root cause is the core problem - the cause at the deepest level - that initiates the whole cause-and-effect reaction that ultimately leads to problems.''
Determine improvement actions from a well-founded analysis
For example, it could just be that a certain supplier does not keep appointments or that an internal department continually has too few resources and the project managers do not know this about each other. A good conversation with that supplier or that department can prevent new frustrations in the future.
MOJEO can help you!
There is knowledge within MOJEO to set up such a Root Cause Analysis system. Interested in a similar analysis? Feel free to book a consultation in with our project specialists.