Projected Schedule and Window of Opportunity

In this part of a scope document' s elements, we ' re interested first in the schedule of the project. Again, you have not yet sat down and written out a detailed project plan with tasks, timelines, and milestones. You' re supplying a good-faith schedule that is designed to give sponsors an accurate idea of what they' re facing should they approve a given project.

More subtle is the window of opportunity and how it interfaces with the schedule that you supply. In business, often you need to react fast to an emerging new trend, economy, or way of doing business. Can you react fast enough—that is, will your schedule allow the quick reaction—to a new business opportunity? If so, the company can make some money by being able to turn around a project that beat others to the opportunity. If not, then why go forward in the first place? Or, more accurately, should you still go forward even though you' ve lost the opportunity to make a boatload of money? An adjunct component of the window of opportunity is the concept of opportunity costs. What will it cost a company to implement a project that could, if skillfully implemented, make the company a bunch of money? The money made minus the opportunity costs (and some other figures that don' t need to be mentioned here) result in the overall earnings that the project creates. You must remember that, from a project sponsor' s point of view, decisions are more often about the first rule of business—maximizing shareholder wealth—than about whether the project is important to the end user environment or not.

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