Good informationFebruary 18, 2013
ParsCo Project Management Consulting Services
When managing a project, a good manager relies on good information to make good decisions. So what is good information? Good information is that which is used and which creates value.
Good information is relevant for its purpose, sufficiently accurate for its purpose, complete enough for the problem, reliable and targeted to the right person. It is also communicated in time for its purpose, contains the right level of detail and is communicated by an appropriate channel, i.e. one that is understandable to the project manager.
Most companies that have difficulties typically lack organization, procedures, and systems to provide the decision makers with the good information to make good decisions.
“With good information you make good decisions, with bad information you make bad decisions, and with no information you make no decisions” states Amir M. Fooladi, President/CEO of ParsCo.
So what are some of the key points that ParsCo Project Managers focus on when gathering good information?
Information should be easy to obtain or access. Information kept in a book of some kind is only available and easy to access if you have the book to hand.
Businesses must have an accessible system to store and find information. ParsCo focuses on setting up systems for this using all the latest technology which makes finding information easy and not a tedious task.
Information needs to be accurate enough for the use to which it is going to be put. To obtain information that is 100% accurate is usually unrealistic as it is likely to be too expensive to produce on time. The degree of accuracy depends upon the circumstances. At operational levels information may need to be accurate to the nearest penny. At tactical level department heads may see weekly summaries correct to the nearest $100, whereas at strategic level directors may look at numbers on a larger scale of accuracy.
Accuracy is important. As an example, if government statistics based on the last census wrongly show an increase in births within an area, plans may be made to build schools and construction companies may invest in new housing developments. In these cases any investment may not be recouped.
Reliability or objectivity
Reliability deals with the truth of information or the objectivity with which it is presented. You can only really use information confidently if you are sure of its reliability and objectivity.
When researching project costs the systems in place to furnish the information have to be solid and free of error otherwise the reliability may be in question. The reliability typically is dependent on the procedures that are followed to gather the information.
Information should be relevant to the purpose for which it is required. It must be suitable. What is relevant for one manager may not be relevant for another. The user will become frustrated if information contains data irrelevant to the task in hand.
For example, a market research company may give information on users’ perceptions of the quality of a product. This is not relevant for the manager who wants to know opinions on relative prices of the product and its rivals. The information gained would not be relevant to the purpose.
Ideally all the information needed for a particular decision should be available but there is always an inherent variable that a Project manager has to account for that can’t be based on information. The unknowns are calculated and determined based on the expertise of the project manager.
Information must be on time for the purpose for which it is required. Information received too late will be irrelevant. One example is accounting, which should always be maintained and up to date.
For more information on how ParsCo can help your business be more successful call 850-776-6265.
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