Break out of the boardroom
This article profiles the effort by the program control office (PCO) of National Grange Mutual Insurance Company to inaugurate a new project planning process. Initially, a task force looked at range of project goals, scopes, and appropriate tasks, and developed a resource model. Each team member produced a pessimistic, optimistic, and most-likely duration estimate for project tasks, and the program evaluation and review technique (PERT) was used to give consistency to estimates. After their initial success, the team's authority was expanded, and in a five-day intensive planning session, thirty projects were assessed and scheduled. In the future, actual results will be tracked against the task force's assessments, and the process will be refined.