IT and Project Cost Control
Do you ever feel like you're playing on the budget dartboard? The vendor's cost has increased. The historical information is flawed. Time estimates are incorrect. The project team is spread too thin. The bribe was lower than expected. Excuses, excuses, right?
IT suffers from a universal law: the first-time, first-use penalty. The concept of the first-time, first-use penalty is that it's next to impossible to accurately estimate the cost of something that has never been attempted. IT is so unique, so multifaceted, and has so many fronts that the constant movement of its variables creates a love-hate relationship for any organization trying to create an IT cost estimate.
Consider any IT project, from replacing hardware to rolling out an entire new system, and I bet you've got a first-time, first-use scenario in there somewhere. Sure, that type of work may have been done before, but not in this project's specific environment. You've got different types of hardware, firmware, software—and don't forget users—banging up against your solutions. All of these factors are often ignored, dismissed, or assumed to be non-issues. Mistake!
When it comes to cost and things that can affect cost, the project manager must consider the risk and ramifications of the first-time, first-use penalty. This universal law can spell disaster for any IT project. The longer a project manager goes without at least nodding in the direction of the first-time, first-use penalty, the bigger the pending fall.