# Month: September 2006

## DT, EMV and NPR revisited

I'm working on a project to relpace the funtionality of an existing system that is shared by two business units, so that each unit can continue development in differing directions. The customer asked me about how to make the decision of whether to build a change or new feature into the existing system and then later into the new system, or to build it only in the new system and force the business to wait until the next release. It reminded me of the Decision Tree problem I faced before, so I set to work on answering the question. But I ran into a stumbling block. The two solutions are as follows: a) build now in existing system, and then again in the new system b) force the business to wait, and build it later in the new system While the former option might not cost double because of the learning curve of the first implementation, the latter option might take a very long time if the prerequisite features for the change have not already been implemented in the new system. So both options have their own complexities. But in theory we can put costs down, and calculate the answer to the question: a) = 50k + 52.5k = 102.5k (assuming 5% inflation over the year) b) = X + 52.5k = ? Hmmm... how do you put a price on the cost of forcing the business to wait? Well, I struggled with that, because its probably very specific to…

## Imagine you’re spending your own money

As part of the Architecture definition for a project I'm working on, I have been preparing a cost estimate. The idea is that the client wants to know if they need to tender the project out to third parties, or whether it can be developed in house by the shared central IT department, used by several business units. In a meeting with the client today I presented my initial estimates. Me: "So as you can see, the upper cost will be 820 thousand CHF." Business Unit Project Manager: "Hold it there. You do realise there is a cost threshold at 600 thousand right?! Above that, we have to tender the project out, and that will add a delay of two months!" Me: "Sure. In the pre study, there is a project plan showing that an initial estimate places the work at around a million CHF. And in that study, it allows time for the tendering process. But good news, it shouldn't cost as much as a million..." Business Unit Project Manager: "Can't you somehow reduce the costs? You need to bring it down a little more...We are already running late." At this point, my unprofessional answer (which I managed to hold in) was along the lines of "OK. Instead of me wasting my time doing a real estimate, just tell me how much you want it to cost, or rather how much less you want it to cost than your boss already thinks it will, based on the pre study.…