Recommendations for Management

Don't shortcut the process. Make sure due diligence is performed on the project. Allow the Phase 1 lead to perform a market analysis. The time spent interviewing users up front can save considerable time and money in development. Business journals are littered with stories of great ideas that failed because a complete market analysis was not performed. The stronger you build your foundation, the stronger the house will be. 1. Don't prejudice the development schedule or release date. Allow the Phase 1 lead and the lead developer to develop a schedule based on their estimate of the effort.

Executive staff has the tendency to want to "fix" the schedule when it doesn't meet dates they are looking for. If a date is presented that will not meet the market window, send the project representatives back to review the development schedule and create a more realistic plan. The only way to shorten a development schedule is to put more

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resources on areas that can be shortened, overlay projects where applicable, or lower the functionality requirements. There is no other way to shorten a proposed schedule unless you want a fool's schedule, one that looks good on paper but is totally unrealistic. With a fool's schedule, management will feel happy until the project slips and the market window is missed. Spend the time up front fostering the proper behaviors and the project will come out on time and on budget. Schedules that are reworked in executive staff meetings are generally reworked without a true understanding of what is required. Shortening schedules should be delegated to the team; the role of the executive staff is to approve or disapprove information presented.

2. Don't release information received in a Phase 1 review. Phase 1 information is approximate information. Between Phase 1 and the end of Phase 2 dates and costs may change. An in-depth cost study is not performed during Phase 1. The purpose of Phase 1 is to provide management the necessary information so they can decide if money should be allocated to develop a Project Concept.

3. Don't hold the team accountable for times, dates, and costs developed in Phase 1. Many people are afraid to provide an estimate because they are concerned they will be held accountable for oversights once the project is funded. Management needs information in order to make a decision. It is not prudent to fund the exhaustive research necessary to provide an accurate schedule before the project is funded. Understand that costs and schedules might drastically change between Phase 1 and Phase 2. Give the Phase 1 lead and the IT lead the latitude to come up with an estimate in order to provide enough information to make a decision.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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