Day: 18 September 2006

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.…

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