Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Cost and Schedule, but Cost before Schedule?

Cost, schedule, scope, and quality. 
Everyone in this business has a familiarity with those four parameters
Everyone knows that even if they are fixed on paper in the project plan, they are fluid in practice.
How fluid? And who manages the fluidity?

The answer to the second part is easiest to say: You do the managing, meaning you as PM or PEO.
And to the first part, there's always cost and schedule, but in the crunch, if you're a business or a government guy or NGO spending the taxpayer's or donor's money, cost always comes before schedule.

Meaning what?
  • Meaning that money is more precious than time; it's a matter of scarcity that determines value.
  • Meaning that more forgiveness is granted for lateness than for cost overruns.
  • Meaning that the political and business sensitivities to money are always greater than they are for time. This is a form of 'utility' bias. Losing money is agonizing, often out of proportion to the factual loss; not so much with time.
Until it's not
Ooops! There are time-sensitive projects to be sure where you'll peay any price to make the milestone. Sometimes lives depend on timeliness; sometimes, there is a business deadline that simply expires at midnight. In this event, you flip the utility curve around and pay the price 😟

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