"The strongest Weapon in Project Management"
Forecasting plays a key role in the success of a project. We know that a project when started goes through multiple phases over time till its delivery right from Project Initiation to Project Closure. However, it is also imperative that during the course of the project, multiple challenges may uncover and be a hindrance to the working of the project. Forecasting is the savior in such cases.
What is Forecasting?
Forecasting is the process of predicting an event in the future that may impact the project either positively or negatively. E.g. A Project Manager in a project may forecast a budget overrun due to some risks that may uncover during the later stages of a project. On the other case, a Project Manager may also forecast potential business opportunities that may uncover due to continuous process improvements in its deliverables.
What are the benefits of Forecasting a project?
A Project Manager should carefully analyze end-to-end scenarios and project outcomes and should take into account External Factors (Geographical Situations, Market Conditions, Economy Changes) and Internal Factors (Change in Culture, Structure and Organization Governance) before making a prediction. Making a right prediction about a project helps the success of a project by allowing Project Manager and the Management to visualize the outcomes of a project and to help them decide whether to create new projects in the future or work on the existing ones.
Forecasting is usually done by a Project Manager during the initial stages of a project in mutual discussion with the Stakeholders. The rule of the thumb is to carry out forecasting either during the Project Initiating or Project Planning stages so that the needs and requirements are clearly known to all the stakeholders.
(Forecast Project Risks – Positive or Negative)
A Project Manager should consider all these 3 Project related events from Project Scope, Project Constraints and Project Risks to successfully predict the future outcomes. Forecasting helps a business identify the profitability of the work performed both for running projects and for future projects that may be opportunities for an organization.