Project Management: Why you always don’t have time.

In every project we undertake, we are always held hostage by two contraints: “time” and “quality”. By “we”, I mean you the sponsor and me, a contractor. Some would add “money” as another constraint but to me that’s “time” in another form.

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Any project from developing a piece of software to building a house, takes some amount of time (yes, you know that). But from my observations too many times sponsors do themselves in when they have some assumptions that lead to a wrong idea of time:
* “It’s a simple task so a contractor can do this quickly”. Well if it’s that simple why you hired him in the first place?
* “The contractor can proceed immediately with implementation”. A outside contractor needs time to understand what your ideas and he needs time to form his own ideas to help you.
* “I don’t have very clear ideas about this project, but you must finish this within x weeks“. Sounds funny but I have heard this before.

The relationships between the scope of the project, time, and cost should balance. If there’s not enough time or budget, the project is doomed. (No kidding.) So in addition to good advice like “eat your vegetables” here a few more you can think about on your next project:

* You get what you give. Clear information begets good ideas. Do not hide details from your contractor. Give as much relevant information as you can from the start.
* Everything thing has a time cost. If you can’t afford the time, see what’s important to you and do those first.
* A successful project comes from the combined strengths of sponsor and contractor not the weaknesses.
* The best clients pick from a wide pool of contractors.
* Likewise, the best contractors pick from a wide pool of clients.

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