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Business Case
A business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task. It is often presented in a well-structured written document, but may also come in the form of a short verbal agreement or presentation. The logic of the business case is that, whenever resources such as money or effort are consumed, they should be in support of a specific business need. An example could be that a software upgrade might improve system performance, but the "business case" is that better performance would improve customer satisfaction, require less task processing time, or reduce system maintenance costs. A compelling business case adequately captures both the quantifiable and non-quantifiable characteristics of a proposed project. Business cases can range from comprehensive and highly structured, as required by formal project management methodologies, to informal and brief. Information included in a formal business case could be the background of the project, the expected business benefits, the ...
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Project
A project is any undertaking, carried out individually or collaboratively and possibly involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular goal. An alternative view sees a project managerially as a sequence of events: a "set of interrelated tasks to be executed over a fixed period and within certain cost and other limitations". A project may be a temporary (rather than a permanent) social system ( work system), possibly staffed by teams (within or across organizations) to accomplish particular tasks under time constraints. A project may form a part of wider programme management or function as an ''ad hoc'' system. Note that open-source software "projects" or artists' musical "projects" (for example) may lack defined team-membership, precise planning and/or time-limited durations. Overview The word ''project'' comes from the Latin word ''projectum'' from the Latin verb ''proicere'', "before an action," which in turn comes from ''pro-'', whic ...
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Cost–benefit Analysis
Cost–benefit analysis (CBA), sometimes also called benefit–cost analysis, is a systematic approach to estimating the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives. It is used to determine options which provide the best approach to achieving benefits while preserving savings in, for example, transactions, activities, and functional business requirements. A CBA may be used to compare completed or potential courses of action, and to estimate or evaluate the value against the cost of a decision, project, or policy. It is commonly used to evaluate business or policy decisions (particularly public policy), commercial transactions, and project investments. For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission must conduct cost-benefit analyses before instituting regulations or deregulations. CBA has two main applications: # To determine if an investment (or decision) is sound, ascertaining if – and by how much – its benefits outweigh its costs. # To provide a basis for comparing inve ...
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Project Management
Project management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve all project goals within the given constraints. This information is usually described in project documentation, created at the beginning of the development process. The primary constraints are scope, time, and budget. The secondary challenge is to optimize the allocation of necessary inputs and apply them to meet pre-defined objectives. The objective of project management is to produce a complete project which complies with the client's objectives. In many cases, the objective of project management is also to shape or reform the client's brief to feasibly address the client's objectives. Once the client's objectives are clearly established, they should influence all decisions made by other people involved in the project – for example, project managers, designers, contractors, and subcontractors. Ill-defined or too tightly prescribed project management objectives are detrimental to decision-m ...
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Reference Class Forecasting
Reference class forecasting or comparison class forecasting is a method of predicting the future by looking at similar past situations and their outcomes. The theories behind reference class forecasting were developed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. The theoretical work helped Kahneman win the Nobel Prize in Economics. Reference class forecasting is so named as it predicts the outcome of a planned action based on actual outcomes in a reference class of similar actions to that being forecast. Discussion of which reference class to use when forecasting a given situation is known as the reference class problem. Overview Kahneman and Tversky Decision Research Technical Report PTR-1042-77-6. In found that human judgment is generally optimistic due to overconfidence and insufficient consideration of distributional information about outcomes. People tend to underestimate the costs, completion times, and risks of planned actions, whereas they tend to overestimate the benefits ...
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Planning Fallacy
The planning fallacy is a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed. This phenomenon sometimes occurs regardless of the individual's knowledge that past tasks of a similar nature have taken longer to complete than generally planned. The bias affects predictions only about one's own tasks; when outside observers predict task completion times, they tend to exhibit a pessimistic bias, overestimating the time needed. The planning fallacy involves estimates of task completion times more optimistic than those encountered in similar projects in the past. The planning fallacy was first proposed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in 1979. In 2003, Lovallo and Kahneman proposed an expanded definition as the tendency to underestimate the time, costs, and risks of future actions and at the same time overestimate the benefits of the same actions. According to this definition, the plann ...
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Optimism Bias
Optimism bias (or the optimistic bias) is a cognitive bias that causes someone to believe that they themselves are less likely to experience a negative event. It is also known as unrealistic optimism or comparative optimism. Optimism bias is common and transcends gender, ethnicity, nationality, and age.O’Sullivan, Owen P. (2015)The neural basis of always looking on the bright side.''Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences'', 8(1):11–15. Optimistic biases are even reported in non-human animals such as rats and birds. However, autistic people are less susceptible to optimistic biases. Four factors can cause a person to be optimistically biased: their desired end state, their cognitive mechanisms, the information they have about themselves versus others, and overall mood. The optimistic bias is seen in a number of situations. For example: people believing that they are less at risk of being a crime victim, smokers believing that they are less likely to contract lung can ...
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Innovation
Innovation is the practical implementation of ideas that result in the introduction of new goods or services or improvement in offering goods or services. ISO TC 279 in the standard ISO 56000:2020 defines innovation as "a new or changed entity realizing or redistributing value". Others have different definitions; a common element in the definitions is a focus on newness, improvement, and spread of ideas or technologies. Innovation often takes place through the development of more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, art works or business models that innovators make available to markets, governments and society. Innovation is related to, but not the same as, invention: innovation is more apt to involve the practical implementation of an invention (i.e. new / improved ability) to make a meaningful impact in a market or society, and not all innovations require a new invention. Technical innovation often manifests itself via the engineering process when the p ...
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Case Competition
In a case competition, participants strive to develop the best solution to a business or education-related case study within an allocated time frame, typically with teams of two or more individuals pitted against each other in a head-to-head or broader relative ranking. Teams deliver presentations for judges and, while competitions vary in composition, a standard format and purpose exists. In terms of cumulative number of participants, thHSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competitionis the world's largest case competition, with over 130,000 participants since 2008. History The case competition concept originated in the United States and originally included participants from domestic universities. The notion of expanding to include international competitors emerged later, with the concept eventually taking hold across North America and Western Europe. Today, a wide range of international competitions are hosted in various countries in North America, Europe, and Asia,. Internation ...
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Project Charter
In project management, a project charter, project definition, or project statement is a statement of the scope, objectives, and participants in a project. It provides a preliminary delineation of roles and responsibilities, outlines the project's key goals, identifies the main stakeholders, and defines the authority of the project manager. In Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), this document is known as the project charter. In customer relationship management (CRM), it is known as the project definition report. Both IPD and CRM require this document as part of the project management process. Purpose The project charter is usually a short document that explains a project clearly and concisely, and refers to more detailed documents for additional information. A project charter should: * Identify the scope of the project. * Provide a shared understanding of the project objectives. * Act as a contract between the project sponsor, key stakeholders and the project team, detailing r ...
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Business Plan
A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business, the methods for attaining those goals, and the time-frame for the achievement of the goals. It also describes the nature of the business, background information on the organization, the organization's financial projections, and the strategies it intends to implement to achieve the stated targets. In its entirety, this document serves as a road-map (a plan) that provides direction to the business. Written business plans are often required to obtain a bank loan or other kind of financing. Templates and guides, such as the ones offered in the United States by the Small Business Administration can be used to facilitate producing a business plan. Audience Business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally-focused plans draft goals that are important to outside stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders. These plans typically have detailed information about the organization or the ...
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Public Sector
The public sector, also called the state sector, is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises. Public sectors include the public goods and governmental services such as the military, law enforcement, infrastructure, public transit, public education, along with health care and those working for the government itself, such as elected officials. The public sector might provide services that a non-payer cannot be excluded from (such as street lighting), services which benefit all of society rather than just the individual who uses the service. Public enterprises, or state-owned enterprises, are self-financing commercial enterprises that are under public ownership which provide various private goods and services for sale and usually operate on a commercial basis. Organizations that are not part of the public sector are either part of the private sector or voluntary sector. The private sector is composed of the economic sectors that are int ...
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