Bring in the just machines please!

As hinted in an earlier post, human beings are not exactly behaving in a consistent and measurable way when it comes to acting upon risk. I usually consider evolution to be rational and therefore people to be rational in some paleolithic sense but sometimes I wonder. In a book published only (?) on the Internet, Aswath Damodaran summarized a number of interesting facts about our behavior when exposed to risk: Individuals are Continue Reading

When do we need a project?

The project format is often the default way of organizing product development. Many organizations have elaborate processes for managing projects such as the UK Government’s PRINCE2 and Ericsson’s PROPS. Both are examples of the Stage-Gate process referred to in an earlier post. Sometimes the project format is warranted, sometimes it is not. I came to think of a rather old paper of which I have faded photo copy in my (physical) binder Continue Reading

The subjective business of risk assessment

Intervention Cost per life-year saved [MSEK] Reduction of radon in new houses 0.1 Improvement of nuclear power plants 64.0 Air-bags in new cars 31.4 Traffic lights in 4-way crossings in cities 241.3 Minimum age for buying tobacco 0.1 Battery powered fire alarms in homes ~0.0 Reduction of electro-magnetic fields near powerlines (in Bergshamra, Sweden) 932.0 A short segway into how poor we are at assessing risk, a topic that I find fascinating Continue Reading

Understanding and misunderstanding the Stage-Gate model

Many project management models are based on Robert Coopers original Stage-Gate model [1][2]. My experience is that it is often misunderstood. Two common such misunderstandings are: That the stages in the Stage-Gate model imply a waterfall development process in which development activities are mapped onto the stages and performed in a strict sequence. That a Gate is some sort of project impediment or, marginally better, any old milestone. I will below suggest Continue Reading