Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Anti-Pattern #4: Give Work To The Lowest Bidder

The idea of giving work to the lowest bidder is very commonplace throughout many industries, and our personal lives also. After all, we're interested in saving money for ourselves and our clients. But, there's the old adage that "you get what you pay for", and there in lies the rub: if something's too good to be true, it probably is. "This is just anecdotal waffling" I hear you all saying, so I'll break it down.

To start with, it's worth me being specific about the type of work and the type of bid I'm talking about: it's for agreed scope and quality software work, but not fixed price; with a contractor, or even an internal division, team, or individual.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Anti-Pattern #3: Cheat To Win

If ever there was a phrase that I've heard in project management that made me immediately worry, it was "Cheat To Win". You maybe need some more context to understand, and perhaps some alternative phrasings that may ring a bell. Try "Quick and Dirty" or perhaps even "Low Hanging Fruit". Ringing any bells? Good. No, that's bad!

To examine why I think that this type of practice is almost always a terrible mistake, I'll look at the two important words in the title and ask:
Who (or what) are we cheating?
What is it we're trying to win?