Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fidelity, faithfulness, loyalty, and commitment

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 the project team is committed. 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? Any gap between them should always be a decision and not just a consequence of wandering off track. And, consider this:
  • If you have the latitude to shift "loyalty" from specification to expectation, you are in what the community generally calls an "agile" environment. 
  • Some will see a shift in loyalty as a breach of commitment, and a lack of faithfulness to the project charter.
  • 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?)
Measurements and value
At the end of the day, how are you measured:  Fidelity, faithfulness, loyalty to the charter and specification, or commitment to customer satisfaction?

Keep this thought close by:
What is really at stake is a "best value" outcome: "the most useful and important scope that's affordable."

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