Fidelity, faithfulness, and commitment often seem to be the tension between:
- What the customer/sponsor/user want, and
- What the project charter/scope calls for.
Why so? Why isn't it straightforward? The business case begets the project charter; the charter begets the project plan; and then the project team is off to do the deliverables. Simple, right?
It's never that simple -- though on paper that's the way it should be.
What is reality is a challenge between "fidelity to user expectation" and "fidelity to user specification".
Expectation v specification. How to manage this? First, it's should always be a decision and not just a consequence of wandering off track; and second:
- If you have the latitude to shift "loyalty" from specification to expectation, you are in what the community generally calls an "agile" environment.
- If the decision process takes into account expectation as well as specification, then both of these should be on the list of "inputs" to the decision. And,
- Indeed, there may be two decisions, one for each criteria, with the customer as the referee: does the customer want to honor the spec, or shift to expectation? (Does the customer have the latitude to make this decision?)
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