New Projects are risky! There are always aspects of a project that are straight forward and that you feel good about; you know the ones I mean – an implementation of a CRM or ERP service which, on the surface at least, requires minimal customization and are a no brainer.
But then reality bites and you come across a requirement that you thought was reasonable, but looking closer, you realize there is a technical component that no-one has a clue about at your company.
So for this requirement you typically get a one liner description and some small estimate (to downplay the fact that no one really knows anything about it!). At this point you have a choice; do you:
A) Ignore this part, stick your head in the sand and focus on the good times; the times where you know you can deliver and hope this unpleasant and mysterious requirement just goes away, or some bright spark wakes up suddenly and says Guess what – I’ve done that before and it’s so easy!
B) You stand your ground and not be swayed by those who want to pressure you to start this no brainer project, and to start it yesterday. Instead you insist on teasing out this requirement to convert it to a Proof of Concept.
From my experience I can tell that if you take option A, there’s a good chance that it will come back to haunt you. Despite all your prayers to the Project Gods they are not always benevolent, and what you thought was a small issue often becomes your worst nightmare.
Option B – A Proof of Concept is your safety net and can help mitigate the risks as follows:
1. Implementation is done in isolation thereby protecting the main project
2. The work on a PoC can often be done in parallel to the main project
3. Everything is done on a smaller scale, so is usually cheaper and faster
4. The work can easily be thrown away if it fails or incorporated into the main stream if useful
5. Successful results can be presented to sponsors to attract further interest / funding
And of course another advantage is that you may get a better nights sleep during the project let’s face it, won’t you have enough to deal with anyway?
About the Author: Steven Reece, PhD is an AWS Solution Architect at Lucrodyne and has over 20 years experience in Small and Medium Enterprises in Canada, US and the UK.
Please contact me at:
Tel: 1-905-882-0701 x 221