Planning and Tracking Quality, Progress, Risk, and Value in Complex Projects



Interactive tutorial with real-life examples, exercises, and discussion


Many firms expend a great amount of effort to increase the customer value of their product development (PD) processes.  Yet, in PD, determining how and when value is added is problematic.  The goal of a PD process is to produce a product "recipe" that satisfies requirements.  Design work is done both to specify the recipe in increasing detail and to verify that it does in fact conform to requirements.  As design work proceeds, certainty increases surrounding the ability of the evolving product design (including its production process) to be the final product recipe (i.e., technical performance risk decreases).  Making progress and adding customer value in PD equates with producing useful information that reduces performance risk.


This tutorial presents a methodology--the risk value method (RVM)--that integrates current approaches such as technical performance measure (TPM) tracking charts, risk reduction profiles, utility or value functions, and probability distributions to account for uncertainties.  The method is demonstrated step by step with industrial examples.  If desired, an actual example from a client company can be incorporated and used as the basis of discussion.


Participants will leave with improved abilities to:  allocate project resources, self-manage their efforts to contribute to project progress, integrate their work with other parts of the project, communicate about key product and project attributes, and transmit project information in a way that accounts for the uncertainties and risks that accompany it.

The tutorial covers:

  • Why it is important to plan and track progress in projects

  • Why methods such as Earned Value Management--which fail to account for quality, technical performance, and risk--can cause major problems

  • The sources of project risks:  incongruence of project goals and technological capabilities (including PD process capabilities that drive development time and cost)

  • How to use the tools comprising the RVM, including probability distributions, utility functions, and TPM tracking charts

  • How to use the RVM to determine a project or program's "value at risk" and what this implies for project management

If time permits, the tutorial will also go into opportunity management and its implications for projects.


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