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-S Curve

-S Curve

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As projects have grown more complex our performance analysis frameworks have remained largely unchanged even as newer more powerful tools have become available to manage and manipulate large volumes of data. Newer analytical tools provide deeper insights into existing data sets especially from a statistical point of view but we continue to use trad...

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... values represented better performance, reflecting less variance from the trend. Tables 1, 2, and 3 included at the end present the results of these calculations. Attention should be paid to start up, ramp-up, and ramp-down transitions in particular. ...

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This Executive Insight looks at large complex programs from a systems perspective recognizing that such programs are not as well bounded as classical project management theory, as espoused by Taylor, Gantt and Fayol , would have us believe. Rather, they behave in both independent and interconnected ways in a dynamic systems environment. They demonstrate the evolutionary nature of all complex systems. They face uncertainty and emergence that comes with human actions and interactions. Large complex programs struggle from insufficient situational awareness, treating the program to be more well-bounded than reality would suggest and using simplified models to understand the complexity inherent in execution. Best practices from project management were typically not derived from such environments and, worse, have fallen short on other large complex programs. Large complex programs are characterized by boundaries that change in response to changing environments; emphasize coping with challenges and change; go beyond uncertainty and require a change in perspective; face a high level of unknown unknowns and unclear/incompatible stakeholder needs. Systems theory represents a different way of seeing, thinking and acting Systems are viewed as greater than the sum of their parts. A system’s holistic properties can never be completely known. Different perspectives will provide different views that may overlap and not be completely compatible.