Budget First

Scott Francis
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Over on ebizQ Peter Schooff asked the question, “What is the ideal scope for a BPM project?“, and it is a fair question.

Some of the answers focused on defining the goal, the problems, the solutions, and working your way up to a scope that you can lock in and deliver on.

But at BP3, we prefer to work the other way around.  What’s the budget?  How much “I” is in the ROI equation.  Given that investment, let’s figure out the best scope (highest return) to tackle with that investment.  Along the way, during the project, we’ll manage that scope to the budget, rather than letting scope dictate budget.

We’ve found this approach to be pretty successful, and it creates wins for our customers, because after they spend their budget they have something *complete* that they can use.  In fact, we’ve blogged about this approach before, though I haven’t returned to the topic in a while:

One of my catchphrases at bp3 is “Respect the Budget” – don’t assume you can go back to the well for additional funds – make sure you are production-ready before you run out of money. What I really love about this approach is that I can treat a T&M project as though it is Fixed Effort, by emphasizing prioritizing, and making sure that we’re always in a position to shift gears and go live with what we’ve got.

 

I’m always interested in how other people approach this, but if you can master the fixed budget, estimated scope approach, you are more likely to have winning project outcomes.