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Four Ways to Run Projects

 

Four Ways to Run Projects

There are four ways to run projects.

One – 80% Right, 100% Done, 100% On Time, 100% On Budget

  • Fix time
  • Fix resources
  • Flex scope and certainty

Set a tight timeline and use the people and budget you have. You’ll be done on time, but you must accept a reduced scope (fewer bells and whistles) and less certainty of how the product/service will perform and how well it will be received Two – 100% Right, 100% Done, 0% On Time, 0% On Budget

  • Fix resources
  • Fix scope and certainty
  • Flex time

Use the team and budget you have and tightly define the scope (features) and define the level of certainty required Three – 100% Right, 100% Done, 100% On Time, 0% On Budget

  • Fix scope and certainty
  • Fix time
  • Flex resources

Tightly define the scope and level of certainty. Your customers will get what they expect and they’ll get it on time. However, this method will be costly. If you hire contract resources, they will be expensive. And if you use internal resources, you’ll have to stop one project to start this one. The benefits from the stopped project won’t be realized and will increase the effective cost to the company. And even though time is fixed, this approach will likely be late. It will take longer than planned to move resources from one project to another and will take longer than planned to hire contract resources and get them up and running. Use this method if you’ve already established good working relationships with contract resources. Avoid this method if you have difficulty stopping existing projects to start new ones.

Four – Not Right, Not Done, Not On Time, Not On Budget

  • Fix time
  • Fix resources
  • Fix scope and certainty

Though almost every project plan is based on this approach, it never works. Sure, it would be great if it worked, but it doesn’t, it hasn’t and it won’t. There’s not enough time to do the right work, not enough money to get the work done on time and no one is willing to flex on scope and certainty. Everyone knows it won’t work and we do it anyway. The result – a stressful project that doesn’t deliver and no one feels good about.

 
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Image credit – Cees Schipper

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