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New Website with PM Blogs and Exercises in Critical Path Drag and Drag Cost

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Stephen Devaux
User offline. Last seen 32 weeks 9 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 665

I have just launched this new website named after my first book and the Total Project Control (TPC) methodology which emphasizes the importance of expected monetary value (or, if you prefer, ROI) as a key project and program management metric.

The TPC methodology allows the integration of all three sides of the “Iron Triangle” (scope, time, cost) into a single metric and index (the DIPP) that incorporates earned value metrics to compute the project’s current expected value-above-cost. It can then be optimized and tracked during project performance to prevent the project’s benefits and value from decaying. New techniques that support this methodology include:

  • The Value Breakdown Structure (VBS), which estimates the value-added of specific work;
  • Critical path drag, or the amount of time specific activities are adding to the project duration;
  • Drag cost, or the amount by which the project’s value is being reduced by an activity’s drag;
  • True cost of an activity, which is the sum of its resource costs and its drag cost.
  • Net value-added of an activity, which is its value-added from the VBS minus its true cost.
  • The doubled resource estimated duration (DRED), which is a secondary duration estimate that takes into account an activity’s resource elasticity.
  • The cost of leveling with unresolved bottlenecks (the CLUB), which helps make the case for additional resources by isolating the cost of drag due to insufficiency of specific resources.

These and other methods and their implications are further explored in much greater detail in my newest book Managing Projects as Investments: Earned Value to Business Value. But I also want this website to be a resource for introducing and exploring these new approaches and techniques. To that end, it will include:

#1. Exercises (and answers) in critical path drag and drag cost computation, earned value and DIPP computation, and other project management issues and problems.

#2. Blogs written by me about both TPC and other aspects and concepts in project management, including things like lessons from history, literature and cinema.

#3. Guest blogs written by other industry leaders whom I shall invite to write about their areas of expertise: software, team building, PMP exam prep, negotiation, contracts, etc.

The website is still very much a work in progress. Right now it includes:

A. Under the EXERCISE tab, a basic problem (and the answers) in computing critical path drag, drag cost, and true cost.

B. My first Blog, “The Essence of Every Project”.

I expect it to grow in the coming weeks, and soon to provide the functionality to allow guest comments. But for the moment, any comments you have (or if you need help with the exercise calculations), I will be happy to respond right in this discussion forum. (Indeed, even after the comment function is working, I will continue to read and respond to comments in this, one of my favorite, forums!)

I hope that it will become a site that you will click on every morning, along with your other favorites, both to see what is new and to add your own comments.

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan