A Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC) can help you better understand and simplify any project you are working on within your business. When you better understand what you are working on, the steps involved to reach the goal, and what can go wrong, you are more likely to succeed. PDPCs help you do exactly that.
When Should You Use a PDPC?
PDPCs aren’t for every situation. But when used at the right time, they can really help you plan a project. The best time to use a PDPC is before you actually start any work on the new project. The more complex the project is expected to be, the more a PDPC helps. Also, when there is a scheduled completion time for the project and the cost of failure is high, a PDPC is a great tool to use. A PDPC helps you analyse and revise the implementation plan of the new business project so you can simplify it and avoid any problems that are identified.
How Do You Make a PDPC?
You first need to create a tree diagram of the project. The tree should branch out, starting with the main objective of the project. The next level of the tree should detail the main activities of the project, or in other words, all of the key things that need to be completed. A next level of detail in the tree should broadly define the tasks that need to be done in order to complete the goals listed in the second level of the tree.
Next, you want to get everyone involved in the project in the same room. Together, brainstorm what can go wrong with all of third-level tasks and how they could be simplified. If any ideas during the brainstorming session seem too improbable, toss them out. Otherwise, you should create a fourth level of the the tree diagram showing potential problems and simplifications. Link up these new items with the tasks they are relevant to by drawing lines connecting them. Note that a problem or simplification can be linked to one or more task.
Finally, you should brainstorm ways to resolve any problems and make any suggested simplifications. These could be new tasks or even changes to the overall structure of the tree or project. All of these solutions should be listed as a fifth level of the tree. During this stage, you also need to consider what’s required to implement the solutions. You can discuss costs involved, the time required to make the fixes, and how effective the solutions are.
Some Questions to Help You Create Your PDPC
It might seem a little daunting to create a PDPC from scratch. Some questions you can ask yourself and your team include the following.
- What are all of the inputs and basic materials we need for this project, and are they all necessary?
- What are the exact outputs that we expect from this project?
- What can’t be changed or is inflexible?
- How do we launch this new business idea, and what happens after launch?
- What assumptions are we making about this project that could be completely wrong?
Overall, PDPC’s can help you plan a new project. These charts can help you simply a project, see what can go wrong, and preemptively come up with solutions. The next time you want to start a new project in your business, try getting your team together to create a PDPC.