Project Management for Scope and Costs
DEFINE INITIAL SCOPE AND ESTABLISH CLIENT AGREEMENT
If the initial scope of the software is poorly defined it will be poorly executed and the project will suffer because of this failure. Defining the exact scope of what the client wants to accomplish with their project software is essential, down to every last detail that will affect the outcome of the project.
Every action necessary for the success of a project must be tracked, and when an action goes off track an alert must be provided by the software. Without these two featuresis not useful. The alert should be programmed for automatic distribution to those who need to know including corporate management.
Accountability must be included so that a person or persons know they have a responsibility for the success of a particular action. The overall management of the project must be provided routine status reports so that they are informed. The timing of these reports should be just after a critical event takes place or doesn’t take place. Otherwise, a monthly report would be appropriate.
Establish Client Agreement
The client must agree to the following features:
- The scope of the project software.
- The special alerts to management about missed timing on previously agreed critical actions.
- That every action necessary for the project to be completed on time is included and a responsible name is assigned.
- That an unedited monthly report will be provided to management taken directly from the management program.
- When a critical action is missed, an alert is provided to management.
COST MANAGEMENT FOR TASKS OUTSIDE THE INITIAL SCOPE
Tasks essential to the completion of a project will surface after the initial scope has been agreed to. These tasks need to be programmed into the software and a cost basis for doing so must be established at the beginning. This encourages everyone to get all of the tasks identified up front, but some tasks surface during the project and could not be anticipated. They are disruptive to the project and need to be tracked. Both sides need to cover the costs of revising the software before thedevelopment is accepted by the client.
TELLING CLIENTS THAT YOU WILL GET BACK TO THEM WITH A PRICE TO ENSURE YOU ARE ACCURATE RATHER THAN RESPONDING RIGHT AWAY TO NEW DEVELOPMENTS THAT ARISE
More contentious issues have arisen because the software group didn’t think through the request. A new development may have many facets that need to be considered before giving a price. The client will attempt to decipher the cost so it is best to be prepared.
FINDING A BALANCE THROUGH EFFECTIVE PLANNING
The balance thatdevelopers should strive for is providing all of the features the client wants at a cost that serves the software company. Keep this in mind as the development process unfolds. Profit is essential; so is the client’s satisfaction with the work.