- Chapter 31: Working with Consultants
- Working with Consultants
- What Are Your Needs?
- Project Manager and Leadership
- Selecting Individual Consultants
- Work Ethic and Attitude
- Large-Scale Project Team Structure
- Preparation for Consultant: Contracts
- Preparation for Consultant: Rates and Fees
- Preparation for Consultant: Fixed-Price Contracts
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Change Managementx
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Client Involvement
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Reviewing the Original Requirements
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Weekly Status Reports
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Risk and Issues Log
- Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Importance of Database Administrator
- Consulting Work Environment
- Consultant Travel and Costs
- Case Studies of Consultant Behavior
- Case Studies of Client Behavior
Controlling Consulting Project Costs: Reviewing the Original Requirements
No plan can perfectly identify all new variables that arise on a project. A good project plan should allow for a certain amount of unexpected and newly identified project tasks. Allowing for a certain amount of unexpected change can actually be good in the long-term. Recall the discussion earlier regarding long-term opportunity costs lost during fixed-price projects. Be careful about curbing scope to achieve short-term cost savings when long-term negative effects exist.
On the other hand, if the volume of change requests remains high, this might point to other problems on the project. It is possible that the original requirements definitions need to be revisited in certain areas to provide a more detailed and thorough outline of the project requirements. This might seem like needless repeat work, but by revisiting the requirements, you have a better chance of reviewing and possibly redefining project scope in certain areas. From that point, you have a better chance of controlling scope because scope probably wasn't fairly identified to begin with.
Many times, the scope creep is directly attributable to department personnel not being thorough enough with their requirements. It is easy for departmental personnel to forget about special reports and other departmental procedures that typically occur at another time during the calendar year. These types of oversights become exaggerated when the consultants engaged during the requirements gathering phases do not have extensive experience with the product being implemented. The consultant should know to ask the client about different types of procedures and solutions they have implemented in the past. The consultant should have the experience to ask the client about areas that seem to have something missing.