Two Dozen Specific Project Questions to Help Manage the Triple Constraints


Borrowed from a project approach called A3, here are sequentially some excellent project questions that serve as a litmus test for determining the overall health of a project.  The answers, or lack thereof, serve as a leading indicator for subsequent meeting focus and areas of exploration for the facilitator.

  1. (To what extent) can you clearly and succinctly define the “presenting problem”—the actual business issue that is being felt?
  2. (To what extent) can you show the gap between the target and the current condition?
  3. (To what extent) did you clarify the optimal business objectives?
  4. (To what extent) did you isolate the root cause(s) of the main components of the gap?
  5. (To what extent) did you uncover the substantive (ie, most meaningful) information to support the analysis?
  6. (To what extent) have you identified the real problem?
  7. How did you decide to tackle this problem?
  8. How will you capture and share the learning?
  9. How will you decide which countermeasures to propose?
  10. How will you get agreement from everyone concerned?
  11. How will you know if your countermeasures work?
  12. To what extent have you engaged other people?
  13. To what extent have you gathered and verified facts-not just data and anecdotes-to clearly understand the current state?
  14. What are some possible countermeasures?
  15. What are the root causes of the problem?
  16. What do you actually know and how do you know it?
  17. What follow-up issues can you anticipate?
  18. What is the business context?
  19. What is the problem or issue?
  20. What is the problem?
  21. What is your implementation plan—who, what, when, where, and how?
  22. What problems may occur during implementation?
  23. Who is responsible for this issue?
  24. Who owns the problem?
  25. Who owns the process for addressing the problem (or realizing the opportunity or managing the project)?

Become Part of the Solution, Improve Your Facilitation Skills

The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics mentioned above. Remember friends, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).

Do not forget to order Change or Die if you working on a business process improvement project. It provides detailed workshop agendas and detailed tools to make your role easier and your team’s performance a lot more effective—daring you to embrace the will, wisdom, and activities that amplify a facilitative leader.

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About Terrence Metz
Biographic Sketch — Terrence Metz Since the end of 1999, Terrence Metz has been a founding principal partner and vice president at Morgan Madison & Company. For over twenty years, through professional and academic endeavors, Terrence has focused on improving group decision-making. His experience has proven that two important components to effective group decision-making are: 1. Higher quality information assures higher quality decisions, 2. Properly managed conflict, generates more “options” to consider—
and groups with more options are proven to make higher quality decisions. Terrence is passionate about using and teaching the FAST Facilitative Leadership Training technique so that people and teams make more informed decisions. Terrence is the lead instructor and primary curriculum developer for MG Rush Performance Learning. He earned his Six Sigma Green Belt® from Motorola University and wrote most of the existing FAST curriculum. Terrence made the FAST technique more robust by adding and enhancing decision-making tools such as PowerBalls and the FAST quantitative SWOT technique that is used worldwide by Fortune 1000 companies. He introduced the concept of holism to the field of structured facilitation as a method for keeping discussions on target and aligning deliverables throughout an organization. Since 1999, Terrence has taught over two hundred classes. With a Baccalaureate in Science from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and a MBA from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on product/ process development and innovation. Terrence has a P&L background in capital goods markets with highly engineered-products and services (eg, Honeywell). He is an expert group facilitator, instructor, and developer of workflow processes and Voice of the Market inputs that accelerate commercial success. His engagements have included strategic development, business planning, problem-solving, continuous improvement, organizational design, process design and improvement, customer cognitivity workshops, and market-based product development and launch. His book "Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual" from CRC Press was published internationally in 2012. Terrence completed additional graduate work in inter-cultural decision-making processes at Marquette University, is a former board member of the Product Development Managers’ Association, and a long-time member of the IAF (International Association of Facilitators), MFNA (Midwest Facilitators Network Association), TMAC (Technology Management Association of Chicago) and WFS (World Future Society). Most importantly, Terrence is an effective listener and equally adept at teaching FAST classes as well as galvanizing consensus around complex issues for organizations and groups.

4 Responses to Two Dozen Specific Project Questions to Help Manage the Triple Constraints

  1. einkglobal says:

    Great open ended questions. The dicsussion generated will be full of content.

  2. Thank you. Look forward to challenges or additions from others.

  3. Pingback: Three Questions You Need to Answer Before Your Meeting Begins « Facilitative Leadership & Facilitator Training

  4. Pingback: “Brainsteering” Recommends 5 Activities to Improve Brainstorming « Facilitative Leadership & Facilitator Training

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