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Fast, High Quality AND Cheap???

21st Oct 2014

Chad Finch, CIO Triumph

Time, cost and quality, the cornerstones of project management, are often the items on which we base the “success” of a project – and, to some degree, ourselves. If you are like me, you truly do your best and want the project to be successful in every way……

These same three measures are often what create the push and pull of an organization’s needs to the point that we are swayed in one direction or another by myriad forces which ultimately impact the project. There is pressure to get it delivered and to start getting the return. There is the issue of cost – it’s expensive but we need it – so we do only what is of high value. We trim it to the essentials. We do not want to sacrifice quality. We know the project will fail without quality, but what exactly does that mean for the organization?

My observation is that in our fast-paced, highly cost-competitive environment, it is often the quality that suffers. This is not intentional and it usually does not surface in the initial stages of the project. Overall, the project stats are good – it’s the longer term quality that suffers. This isn’t realized until it’s too late. Agile methodologies and rapid development technologies have been used to advantage for the project but there is danger in becoming too focused on producing quick result. The full lifecycle of the program and change management must be addressed.

The longer term issues surface when the system/process is never fully adopted by the organization; when the system becomes unmanageable because it is not adequately trained, documented or supported. When considering the squeeze of the time, cost, quality “pick any two” dynamic, it’s the items like change management, change control, user training, and documentation that are often cut. The lesson – use the fast and adaptive tools and processes but be sure to incorporate a solid foundation. The lasting success of the project benefit is far more important than the few weeks and/or dollars that might be saved in the short-term by forgoing qualified help with change management, training and documentation.


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