What is Duration-Driven Methodology?

Why projects struggle

Project Management is a mature business process practiced at every company, organization, and government entity in the world.  There is much written on the topic, many colleges and universities study its application and thousands of people pursue its industry credentials.   All of this activity makes it somewhat surprising that nearly everyone struggles with project management.  The numbers don’t lie – more times than not, projects will not be successful.  The reasons why projects struggle vary as widely as the types of projects being undertaken, however, through years of evaluating successful project consulting engagements, we have distilled the core reasons down to a few common issues.

  1. Misalignment between management and the project team on what the project is
  2. Lack of buy-in from the team members actually doing the work
  3. Miscommunication amongst the team
  4. The project planning is conducted backwards
  5. The team focuses on what they have completed instead of what is left to complete

How Do we Address These Issues?

Of course there are many project management techniques available for managers and executives to deal with the above laundry list of pitfalls.  Some are more effective than others.  PMAlliance has filtered out the most successful best practices and consolidated them together in a single, integrated planning approach called Duration-Driven Planning and Control.  PMAlliance’s Duration-Driven is a prescriptive methodology that provides direction on what techniques ‘should be applied’ instead of ‘what is possible’. 

What is Duration-Driven Planning and Control?

Duration-Driven Planning and Control is a team-based methodology founded on the basic principle that in order to keep a team committed to a project schedule, they need to have input into building that schedule.  Further, to more accurately reflect the fluctuation in their daily work schedule (various responsibilities, multiple projects, juggling priorities, etc.) they should plan their projects according to estimated durations instead of best-case effort approximations. This approach results in a network-based project schedule that more accurately reflects reality and is a higher quality work product. The methodology provides a clear set of guidelines, terminology and techniques to be used by the team during the project planning phase.  Duration-Driven Methodology doesn’t stop with the development of a project plan; it extends into the critical importance of project control.  The methodology addresses the entire project management lifecycle from initial stakeholder alignment, to schedule development, through the control process.  Its comprehensive nature ensures participants gain value from project inception to close-out.   

What are the benefits of this methodology?

Duration-Driven Planning and Control is a proven project planning and control process that aligns the expectations of executive management with the input of the project team.  This methodology enables the development of a dynamic project schedule that acts as an early warning system designed to identify issues before they become show-stoppers.  Practitioners of this approach recognize improved team work and communication, while enabling project teams to gain a greater sense of accountability and commitment.  The control process is structured in a way to instill a proactive problem-solving mentality instead of the fire-fighting emergency response to issue resolution.  The methodology provides greater visibility to project execution while promoting a less stressful team environment.  In summary, Duration-Driven Planning and Control enables your project the best opportunity to be delivered on-time, within budget and to expected quality standards!

How can I acquire these skills?

Duration-Driven Planning and Control is delivered during a 2-day instructor-led event.  Throughout the two-day event, practical challenges are posed, participants engage in various group exercises and students learn how they can adapt the general techniques taught in the class to the unique aspects of their projects.   At the conclusion of our program, participants will be well equipped to participate in creating comprehensive project plans, implement disciplined processes for maintaining those plans, and utilize management reviews to ensure deliverables are completed in a timely manner.

Project Experience

Portfolio Management
Successful portfolio management calls for exceptional data management skills and diligent oversight across multiple efforts.
Demanding, time sensitive, and finely tuned, manufacturing projects require close attention and experienced oversight.
IT Projects
Organizations must be able to successfully execute challenging and highly visible technology projects to maximize revenue.
Power Plants
Power Plants must be able to keep these vital infrastructure assets current, efficient, and economically positive.
High-profile hurdles and expensive risks of failure make these projects critical to manage properly from the very beginning.
Presents complexities at nearly every stage, from allocating resources to controlling schedule variances, or clearing regulatory & safety hurdles.
Ensuring team members are able to move outside the silos of their department or discipline is the key to achieving success.
Product Dev
Design and other early-stage activities must be carefully orchestrated while maintaining visibility on future impacts and resource needs.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Among the riskiest and most strategically important initiatives a company can undertake, and their outcomes can make or break the business.
Finance & Insurance
Technology implementations call for the right level of planning detail and diligent oversight.
An ERP implementation can be among the most disruptive and strategically important initiative an organization can undertake.