What makes CBPM work?

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CBPM (Commitment-Based Project Management) works because it empowers the team members. It allows them to commit to a date they can believe on not one the project manager made up.

This is the most important reason why it works, but there are other supporting reasons:

  1. The plan is put together by the team, not by the PM or upper management.
  2. The interdependencies become highly visible to everyone during the plan development process.
  3. CBPM focuses on deliverables, not on tasks. The customer doesn’t care about all of the work team members have to do to deliver an item. S/he only cares about the deliverables. In a similar fashion, team members only care about deliverables they need to be able to do their work, not all the other work that other team members have to do.
  4. A deliverable is done or not done. None of this “80% done” (which means that 80% of the effort remains, following the 80-20 rule). No grayness here. If there’s disagreement, the “customer” of the deliverable has the final word.
  5. Since the “customer” of a deliverable has the final say, this approach encourages the “supplier” of the deliverable to know what the “customers” want by communicating with them.
  6. It’s very clear who owns (the “supplier”) what deliverable in the matrix.
  7. It’s very clear who needs the deliverables (the “customers”).
  8. Knowing who owns it and who needs it improves communications. The PM is not the keeper of the deliverable status. The suppliers and customers need to talk to each other.
  9. Status is visible in the deliverables matrix. It’s on time, late, or done. Red indicates late and no one likes their items being late.
  10. The PAC (Performance Against Commitments) chart clearly indicates how well the team is doing.

What’s your experience with CBPM? Let us know.

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