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Project Planning: Must You Over-Commit to Win Business?

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Camp One believes that the only way to succeed as a development organization is to over-commit to the customer. Camp Two believes that if they overcommit, they risk building a reputation of being late on deliveries and a provider of poor quality. Who's right?


Project planning and establishing achievable commitments continue to challenge software projects. Approximately 60% of software professionals that we meet complain about being over-committed, underresourced and unable to negotiate deadlines, scope and resources. The remaining 40% have little difficulty establishing achievable commitments with their management team and customer. During our 16 years of observation we see two distinct camps. Camp One believes "It's not realistic to make realistic commitments." Camp Two believes "It's not realistic to make unrealistic commitments." This article describes each camp and how one can change camps if desired.

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