Project assumptions are risks that come with every project. When you fail to identify those risks and continue planning the project schedule, the project is doomed. In this article at Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall shares the 4 project assumption mistakes that you should not do.
Counting Mistakes in Project Assumptions
Project assumptions made early can save the project from failing in the end. As per PMBOK, it is a factor that is ‘true, real, or certain, without proof or demonstration.’ Following are the four mistakes you should avoid while making project assumptions:
Fail to Find Out Assumptions: Even if all involved in the team get hints of project assumptions, they do not document or share those diligently. They ignore the concerns as half-baked ideas when they should pay heed to them. To prevent such incidents from happening, have an assumption register accessible to all members. They can log in their thoughts which you can discuss during meetings.
Not Validating the Assumptions: When project assumptions come to the forefront, take time to validate them. Check if those assumptions have supporting facts and data. Identify the source or individual that made the assumption.
Not Performing Proper Assessments: Not assessing assumptions can lead to further complications. As David Hillson, ‘the Risk Doctor’, elaborates, “…not all assumptions matter equally…some assumptions might prove false.” He suggests an IF/THEN test, where IF is the possibility and THEN is the consequence. So, find out what would happen if your project assumptions are correct. Document all the risks you accumulate from this test in the risk register.
Not Going for a Plan B: If you identify risks from project assumptions, you would certainly not choose those options. However, people do not always prepare an alternative option. There are several ways to reach a solution. If Plan A does not work, your Plan B prepared that could lower the risk.
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