Tag Archives: Budget

4 strategies for a favorable Degree of Fit

If your Degree of Fit is just not there, or the balance between it and the budgetary estimate is not favorable, the risk that project will exceed the budget or not meet the requirements is high, but you might still decide to go on. In fact, most consultants often do, choosing to fight the odds. According to field reports, this approach often fails.

There are four things you can do to ensure the customer satisfaction while keeping the project in budget and still reducing the risks by increasing the degree of fit.

Let’s see what they are.

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Sure Step in action: more about Fit Gap Analysis

image Fit Gap Analysis is one of the core activities of the Sure Step. It’s in fact so important that on most projects this activity should be done twice: the first time you do it on a very high level just get a quick overview of customer’s processes and requirements, and the second time you dive deep down into details to figure out everything.

This is not the first time I blog about it. I explained the meaning of the Degree of Fit, as well as its value in determining the risks of customizing the solution, and then I shared some thoughts about how to use hourly estimates from the Fit Gap worksheet. But every time I think of Fit Gap or I teach it at a course, there seems to be so much more to it.

There are a couple of more points I’d like to address about it:

  • How (and why) to engineer the Degree of Fit?
  • Isn’t the Degree of Fit a bit too blurry?
  • Are the five fit/gap categories really all there is about it?
  • Can you inherit a Fit Gap Analysis results from another consultant?

Let’s discuss the first topic today: engineering a desirable Degree of Fit.

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Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint Estimates

The Sure Step season seems to have started in its fullest for me – it is the second time this year already that I’m delivering the Sure Step course, this time in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I must say that I truly enjoy it.

Anyway, while discussing the Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint decision accelerator, an important component of the Diagnostic phase, a student asked me an interesting question: why do we need to give effort estimates to meet the requirements at this stage?

And indeed – isn’t it far too early to give or commit to any effort estimates at this early stage, isn’t there a huge risk that the customer might understand these estimates as final project estimates? What’s the true meaning of effort estimates during Fit Gap analysis in diagnostic phase?

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Contingency or re-baselining, what’s the difference?

I’ve seen a few projects where customers said they didn’t need contingency, because they decided to adjust the budget as changes happen.

How does this sound to you?

To me, this sounds pretty bad, because there is an important distinction between adjusting the budget based on change requests and consuming the contingency reserve.

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Do you need contingency reserve?

If projects were completely predictable, there would be no need for risk management. Everything could be planned and executed according to plan. However, we know better. Unexpected things happen, disrupt the original plans and cause time and cost overruns. In IT projects, these overruns are far too common to be ignored.

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