Home About Us Training Our Approach Clients and Partners Education, News, and Information Contact Us
 

Managing the Wicked Problem Project

     

The "Secret Sauce": Herodotus tells us that the ancient Persians would make all major decisions while drunk, and then reconsider the decisions the next day while sober. If the sober decision agreed with the inebriated decision, they would go forward; if not, the process would be repeated.

 

This course provides managers with practical strategies and techniques for managing wicked problem projects, which by their very nature imply difficulty in planning, and holding to schedule and budget.

The course addresses the characteristics of wicked problem projects and includes specific solutions for mastering the art of project planning (which is defined as a wicked problem unto itself), as well as how to plan, schedule and manage wicked problem projects.

Many projects that seem to be "wicked" really are. To be successful, project and functional managers need special skills to deal with these types of projects.

Earn professional development units needed for accreditation by PMI by attending this class.

Course Description

This seminar provides managers with the strategies and techniques for managing wicked problem projects, with participants participating in workshops, exercises, and group discussions. This course provides practical solutions for those managing wicked problem projects, which by their very nature imply difficulty in planning, and holding to schedule and budget.

So what is a wicked problem project? If you've ever dealt with hard-to-define problem or scope statements; unclear solutions or evaluation criteria; rapidly changing requirements, constraints, schedules, or budgets; project planning; or software development, you have encountered the world of wicked problem projects. Inherent in their nature, wicked problem projects defy traditional problem-solving and project management techniques.

Project managers need special training on how to successfully deal with these types of problems. This course addresses the characteristics of wicked problem projects and presents strategies and techniques for taming them. This includes specific solutions for mastering the art of project planning (which is defined as a wicked problem unto itself), and how to plan and schedule wicked problem projects.

Course Objectives

  • Identify wicked problem projects
  • Learn about linear versus non-linear problem solving models
  • Know the 10 characteristics that distinguish wicked problem projects
  • Know the 4 criteria for deciding if a project is a wicked problem project
  • Learn 6 ways to tame wicked problem projects and remove uncertainty
  • Learn how to tame the project planning process
  • Learn how to tame the software development process
  • Know how organizational project maturity can turn wicked problems into tame projects

Benefits to Your Company

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce uncertainty
  • Reduce financial risk
  • Improve project processes and performance
  • Improve project control

Course Outline

  1. Understanding the Nature of Wicked Problem Projects
        Origin of Wicked Problems
        Well-Defined vs. Ill-Defined Projects
        Wicked Problem Projects vs. Tame Projects
        Linear vs. Non-Linear Solutions
     
  2. Characteristics of Wicked Problem Projects
        Characteristics of Wicked Problems
        10 Rules that Define a Wicked Problem
        Examples of Wicked Problem Projects
        Death March Projects
     
  3. Factors Associated With Wicked Problem Projects
        Conflict
        Changing Constraints
        Increasing Complexity
        Fragmentation
        Technical Complexity
        Probability vs. Predictability
        When the Solution is Good Enough
     
  4. Approaches to Dealing With Wicked Problem Projects
        Traditional Project Processes
        How to Involve Stakeholders
        10 Ways to Tame Wicked Problems
        Prioritizing Requirements
        Taming Project Planning Activities
        Taming Software Development
        Where to Start
     
  5. Wicked Problems and Organizational Maturity Models
        The Capability Maturity Model
        Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3)

Who Should Attend
Project managers, program managers, functional managers, and those needing to know how to manage difficult (i.e., "wicked problem") projects.

Prerequisites
While not essential, an understanding of basic project management concepts, including the purpose and contents of a project plan, work breakdown structure, and scheduling (task identification, dependencies, and Gantt charts), is helpful.

Course Information
Instructor: Course will be taught by a senior project manager who is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI) as a PMP (Project Management Professional).
Course fee: See Pricing, Packages, and Discounts for more information.
Course Includes: Course handouts. CD containing statement of work template, work order and change order, contract closeout checklist.

For more information, contact Spectrum Consulting Group, LLC at:
503.780.4758, or
503.736.1230


 
Copyright © 2004-2017 Spectrum Consulting Group, LLC
P³ Solutions, Prizm², Model "T", and ClockWorks are trademarks of Spectrum Consulting Group, LLC
All other marks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.