Achieving an acceptable outcome from any initiative within a business is fraught with obstacles. Achieving an acceptable balance between the dimensions (below) is essential when establishing a plan to execute.
Scope: What does the initiative cover; what are its requirements; what does it need to deliver?
Time: How much time do you wish to allow developing the initiative before it becomes reality?
Cost: How many resources (including capital) are you prepared to expend?
Quality: How good does the delivered initiative have to be?
You can’t however have it all. When building a plan compromise is essential.
For example, with a given
- Cost and Time to complete, the scope and or quality will need to be tweaked to suit;
- Scope and Cost (which is the usual scenario) both time and quality of outcome are the key variables.
Change during the course of realising an initiative is almost inevitable and constraints affecting the delivery are almost always applied.
- An increase in scope with no change in time can be accommodated by increasing the cost (throwing more resources at it) and/or reducing the quality.
- A decrease in time can be accommodated by increasing the cost, decreasing the scope or reducing the quality.
- A reduced budget can be addressed by reducing the scope and/or quality.
Of course no one ever wants to reduce the quality of the outcome.
Good planning and good management will keep in mind each of these dimensions when exploring change.
Disregarding these dimensions during the planning/change process will cause problems with unexpected cost-overruns, scope-creep and time blow-outs.
Being aware of the interaction between these dimensions is crucial.
What can’t be accommodated is incompetence which can result in high costs, long time scales, unmanaged scope and poor quality.
You can’t have it all but with good planning and management you are not left with nothing.