I came across a post on Twitter that led me to the blog post 3 Questions You Need to Ask at Your Next Meeting. Please subscribe to their newsletter
The three questions are the foundation for any meeting, but they’re critical to the success of project work as well – no matter the domain, context, or development method.
Here’s the three questions, and the framework for the answers in the project management domain
- What is our target condition– one month from now?
- The answer is contained in the Capabilities Based Plan, with the defined capabilities needed by the stakeholders of the project to accomplish their mission. This is a time-phased description of capabilities connected to the mission and vision contained in the Business Strategy.
- These capabilities start in the Concept of Operations for product or service solutions. 
- In the ConOps there are descriptions of the Measures of Effectiveness for the components of the project that implement the Capabilities
- What is the destination you are striving for?
- All projects – no matter the domain and implementation method – need to be incremental and iterative. There is no modern project with immutable requirements.
- Using Waterfall is a strawman argument. In our space and defense domain, we have an increasing maturity of the deliverables captures in the Integrated Master Plan.
- See Incremental Commitment Spiral Model for large traditional projects.
- For software projects, Scrum can be used. But make sure you have a Product Roadmap and Release Plan for all work other than trivial projects.
- What is your actual condition?
- The only answer to that is the risk-informed measure of Physical Percent Complete (P%C).
- P%C starts with defining the Measures of Performance and Technical Performance Measures for each deliverable as a function of time.
- These measures are supported by Quantifiable Backup Data.
- All these measures are fancy words for Show what you’ve done in some unit of measure meaning to the decision makers. The passage of time and consumption of money is not progress.
Of course, each of these questions and answers must be risk-adjusted since,
Risk Management is Project Management for Adults – Tim Lister
And finally, since all project work operates in the presence of uncertainty, we must make estimates for each of the target measures in order to execute the project in a Closed Loop manner.
These questions and the principles, processes, and practices to support them are Governance of the project.
- Explaining KPPs, KSAs, MOEs, and MOPs, John’s Ho[kins Whiting Schools of Engineering
- Risk-Informed Decision Making, NASA/SP-2010-576
- Measuring Physical Percent Complete, Glen Alleman GovLoop Project Management
- Progress Means Measuring Physical Percent Complete
- Quantifiable Backup Data, in Deliverables Based Planningsm, Glen Alleman and Ron Powell, 11th Annual Rocky Mountain Project Management Symposium