A Tool Everyone In Project Management Should Be Using – Expert Judgement
It is quite often recommended as one among the best tools and techniques in the project management processes. Experts are treated as assets in any organization and provide inputs to planning and estimating any activity as their opinions are considered to be crucial.The experts can be stakeholders or customers. Expert Judgment is one of the best accepted approaches and most useful too during the planning phases of many activities.
The approach not only saves the time during the planning but also highlights risks to be considered while executing. It also improves the quality of the estimates and provides accurate forecasts.
The role of the expert is very much needed during the planning and risk identification processes. Planning and risk identification are very critical to project success. Particularly big and complex projects, the project manager always looks for experts or specialists from outside to make unbiased and accurate decisions.
One of the important risks in a project is inaccurate estimates. This will definitely impact the project performance. Industry findings says that 60% of projects don’t meet project performance criteria (Time, cost and scope objectives). The expert judgement approach helps to provide accurate estimate as suggested earlier.
Risk identification is another important area which has to be done early in a project life cycle. Unidentified risks are threats to the project’s success. The risk management activities start only after identifying the potential risks in a project. Experts’ opinions are considered throughout the risk management processes to reduce the impact of the project risks.
Expert judgment is inevitable during the project life cycle and sorted across all knowledge areas in effective project management.
It is the recommended tools and techniques in the below processes of Project Management as per PMBOK 5th edition.
- Develop project charter
- Develop project management plan
- Direct and manage project work
- Monitor and control project work
- Perform integrated change control
- Close project or phase
- Plan scope management
- Define scope
- Create WBS
- Plan schedule management
- Define activities
- Estimate activity durations
- Estimate activity resources
- Plan cost management
- Estimate costs
- Determine budget
- Plan human resource management
- Control communications
- Plan risk management
- Identify risks
- Perform qualitative risk analysis
- Perform quantitative risk analysis
- Plan risk responses
- Plan procurement management
- Conduct procurement
- Identify stakeholders
- Plan stakeholder management
- Control stakeholder engagement
I agree that expert judgment is ubiquitous, but it is not a panacea, nor does it necessarily improve estimation. It only improves estimation when done properly. 1 in 10 project management practitioners do not use written guidance for eliciting expert judgment, and failure to use a structured process is known to result in judgmental biases and flawed estimates. For more information on how to improve expert judgment, check out the PMI-published research monograph I wrote on the subject – https://www.amazon.com/Expert-Judgment-Project-Management-Theory-Practice/dp/1628251166.
Very interesting and well said.