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Conclusion

The evaluate phase is the pivotal PUMP phase which directs where and how successive iterations develop the analysis. Figures 4.1 and 11.1 indicate that all iterations loop back to the beginning of the evaluate phase or the define phase, but in practice selective loops back to other phases (like the structure phase) can provide effective shortcuts.

Effectiveness and efficiency for uncertainty management as a whole depends upon how well this iterative process works. This depends on the ability of PUMP team analysts to detect what is important and what is not, before spending too much time on the unimportant, without overlooking important threats or opportunities that do not stand out initially, plus the team’s ability to communicate all implications to all relevant users of their results. Extensive probabilistic analysis based on carefully researched data can be very useful, but often such analysis is not appropriate. What is usually essential is an initial rough sizing of uncertainty associated with all the key sources that require management, followed by refinement in some areas where that refinement is worthwhile. In general, the goal of a first pass through the PUMP should be a focus on sizing uncertainty in order to evaluate the best way to use later passes. A sizing first pass provides the initial understanding of which areas need the most attention, and which can receive less attention. This assessment is itself prone to risk which must be managed – but treating all aspects of project uncertainty as equally important in a single pass process is rarely sensible. The risk invariably realized is that too much time is spent on some issues which do not matter and too little time is spent on issues which do matter.


  

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