Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Don't ask for data if ...


The first rule of data:
  • Don't ask for data if you don't know what you are going to do with it
Or, said another way (same rule)
  • Don't ask for data which you can not use or act upon
 And, your reaction might be: Of course! 
But, alas, in the PMO there are too many incidents of reports, data accumulation, measurements, etc for which there actually is no plan for what to do with it. Sometimes, it just curiosity; sometimes it's just blind compliance with a data regulation; sometimes it's just to have a justification for an analyst job.
The test:
 If someone says they need data, the first question is how does it add value to what you are doing, and do you have a plan to effectuate that value-add?
Do you have a notion of data limits: enough, but not too much to be statistically significant, and control limits for useful -- or not -- metrics.

And information?
Well, the usual definition is that information is data, perhaps multiple data, integrated with context and perhaps interpreted for the current situation.

So, the rule can be extended: if there are not means to process data into information, is the data necessary to be collected?

Bottom line: To state the obvious: always test for value-add before spending resources




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2 comments:

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    Scope creep in project management is a scenario where project scope derails from its intended track and consequences in project delays, cost overrun, decreased satisfaction, and failure in business value realization. In this blog, we will be discussing multiple factors that contribute to scope creep in our experiences and the steps that can be used to prevent ourselves from scope creep.

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