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How to Manage Project Opportunity and Risk: Why uncertainty management can be a much better approach than risk management by Stephen Ward, Chris Chapman

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Chapter 6

Focus the process

If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

—Anon

Generic PUMP pack processes provide a framework for uncertainty management, but the precise scope and detail of analysis in each phase will depend upon the application and corporate context. There is no ‘one best approach’ for all circumstances. The focus phase of the basic PUMP is about adapting the generic process to the specific project context of immediate interest.

The opportunities for uncertainty management in projects are considerable, pervasive and diverse. Any systematic efforts at project uncertainty management must be carefully designed and managed if ‘clarity efficiency’ is to be achieved – cost-effective use of uncertainty management resources including process demands on everyone involved, directly or indirectly. Achieving clarity efficiency is the goal of the focus phase.

Part II of this book is focused on using the PUMP process during the last of the strategy shaping stages of the project lifecycle, the E&D shaping stage. As indicated in Chapter 5, using a PUMP in each strategy shaping stage starting with the concept shaping stage is recommended for all projects, but sometimes a later start has to be accommodated. In addition, explaining what is involved in the earlier strategy shaping lifecycle stages at a detailed level is easier if E&D shaping PUMPs are considered first, in part because short-cut versions of later strategy shaping stage applications ...

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