Uncertainty Performance Domain

 All projects are conducting within a surrounding environment. This environment has different aspects such as technical, social, political, and economic. Any of this can be a source of uncertainty for a project. 

This uncertainty may emerge positively and negatively depending on the situation. Therefore there are always opportunities and threats to the project. Therefore for the ultimate success of a project, a project manager and the project team should respond to uncertainty well and should explore it continuously. Proactive management of dealing with uncertainty is a must. 

Projects with adaptive and hybrid development approaches are generally and typically have more uncertain characteristics to deal with. The actions and activities are typically complex and have a high degree of uncertainty. This uncertainty may stem from many things such as the uniqueness of the project, the organization might not have undertaken a similar project before, the approach or technology being used might be new, or there might be other significant unknowns. 

There are various aspects of uncertainty. In this performance domain the ones listed are;

  • General Uncertainty: All projects have a degree of uncertainty and any action inside the project may yield different outcomes. The success of these outcomes is also uncertain. The positive and negative possibilities of outcomes are threats and opportunities for a project.
  • Ambiguity: Two types of ambiguity may happen in projects. These are conceptual ambiguity and situational ambiguity. 
  • Complexity: Complexity is something difficult to understand or something that lacks simplicity. In projects, complexity is the difficulty to manage projects due to environmental and human factors and ambiguity. There may be a huge amount of responsible people, communications lines and any action may be unpredictable due to the complex structure of an aspect of the project. There are several ways described to deal with complexity.
  • Volatility: While many projects have stable requirements and are done in a predictive way, an increasing number of projects have rapidly changing environments. Rapid and unpredictable changes bring about volatility.
  • Risks: We already knew what are risks. Risks are uncertain events or conditions that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives. They can be positive or negative. It was dealt with in the risk management knowledge area in PMBOK 6. As part of this performance domain, the project team should identify risks proactively and continuously during the project's lifespan, prepare efficient risk responses and navigate risks efficiently. Therefore the main goal here increasing the effect of positive risks and limiting the potential harm of negative risks.

The Uncertainty Performance Domain interacts with: