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Some Remedies

Common Mistakes


  • Poor specification / Scope at the project inception results in:
    • "Scope Creep" - new features keep getting added as the project progresses. Rather add them to Phase 2, at least you will be able to control Phase 1.
    • An under-performing or even totally inadequate system.
    • The system should be developed according to the specification, if it is not in the specification it should not be in the system. Strong words, and when something vital has been missed from the specification (and that is not unusual), adding it may be unavoidable. However adding to the specification can be the start of big trouble for a project, and should be regarded as a major change involving all parties negotiating how to resolve the issue.
  • Unqualified budget creation results in:
    • Creating a budget before you know what you need, and what it takes to meet the need.
    • Sales persons negotiate discounts, and the client puts that price into the budget, but no-one checks that the system can actually be created for that price. This is a lot more common than you might think.
  • Sluggish Management results in:
    • Slow reaction to changing situations. Take considered, but quick, remedial action as soon as possible.
    • Tidy up corporate bloat before the project not during it. Wading through a corporate quagmire will slow any but the most ruthless of project managers. If you think your (either the client or the provider) company is free of corporate bloat, then read a Dilbert book or two, if it hits a little close to home then consider some organisation cleanup before the project starts. Experience has shown that installing a new system is a catalyst for change in a department or in the company as a whole. Managing organisational change and system change simultaneously is very demanding.
  • Insufficient training results in:
    • The users working too slowly. This in turn causes a backlog, which can become a serious problem.
    • Users make mistakes, resulting in bad data, which can easily be perceived as system errors.
    • Users feel uncomfortable with the system. This can lead to resentment, which, if it goes far enough can be a cause of a complete project failure.

Making It Worse

  • In almost every project with a looming budget / time over-run, it is either the training or the testing that gets cut back. Both of these actions are serious mistakes. Cutting the training will almost certainly result in data errors and slowness later. Cut the testing and you are rolling the dice with your data, it might turn out ok, or maybe not, do not take the chance.
  • If an over-run starts to look likely the mistake was in the past, try to avoid creating future mistakes through any remedial action.

Some Remedies