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Professional Mission Administration – Bayesian Mission Administration

Professional Mission Administration – Bayesian Mission Administration

2023-01-24 00:52:50

Introduction | Audience |
Clearing the Decks | Two
Approaches to a New Estimate

The Bayesian Paradigm, Part 1 |
The Bayesian Paradigm, Part 2
Calculating using Bayes’ Theorem |
Conclusion |
Instructions for the Nomogram |

Joe Marasco is the writer of The Software program Improvement Edge: Essays on Managing Profitable Initiatives, printed by Addison Wesley in 2005. His pursuits embrace modeling organizational habits to enhance efficiency and profitability. He could be reached at

Editor’s Word:

On this paper, Joe introduces us to the applying of Bayesian principle to evaluate how we’re doing on our challenge after we have now began — in reality at our first milestone. Primarily, Bayes consists of two items: A previous chance, and a few new info. Combining these two offers you a brand new chance. The essential statement is that this may be utilized as an iterative course of, with every new chance changing into the prior chance for the following iteration. In essence, it’s a bootstrapping course of that may be repeated by means of the challenge’s life span.

True, that Bayesian principle is topic to the criticism: “The place do you get the primary (i.e., prior) chance within the first place?” If that’s nothing higher than a poor guess, then rubbish in, rubbish out is claimed. Nonetheless, expertise exhibits that most often the outcome after a number of iterations is insensitive to the unique estimate anyway, as a result of the brand new knowledge rapidly adjusts the chance for us if the following checks are of excellent high quality. However “good” challenge managers focused on making use of Bayesian principle can have made certain that they’ve a very good baseline estimate and plan to work with within the first place, in order that shouldn’t be an issue.

Word that whereas this paper by Joe gives us with a recipe for updating, his paper printed final October tells us how to make certain of the primary estimate. That makes these two papers an entire Bayesian bundle, fortunately printed in the suitable order!


All tasks start with unfettered optimism. We make plans, acquire funding,
and recruit a crew; often the brand new challenge supervisor makes an estimate of
the chance of success. We proposed a mannequin and a strategy in Predicting
Project Outcomes
to take action.

A number of months later the primary main milestone date arrives, both with or with out the promised deliverable. This milestone gives a go or no-go gate, and it is essential to estimate the brand new chance of success primarily based on efficiency so far. Skilled challenge managers (PMs) incessantly make the suitable name, however not all the time. Much less skilled managers typically get it mistaken. For that cohort, instruments that rely extra on evaluation than on intuition are useful.

See Also

There’s a confirmed approach for updating a chance estimate with new knowledge.
It was invented within the 1750s by Thomas
, and it has had
a renaissance
within the final 50 years. Many PMs have some information of chance
and statistics, however they might not have been uncovered to the Bayesian strategy. We
show how it may be utilized to repeatedly replace the estimate of the chance
of success as extra efficiency knowledge accrete. A Bayesian framework permits us to
make higher estimates as time goes on.

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