WIN(win) Case Study
Scope creep is a common occurrence in project management. While it is not always a bad idea to add more features to a product, doing so can cripple the entire project with delays and unexpected rise in cost. Even when the project has been defined, objectives set and milestones defined, some element of scope creep can show up. How you deal with this situation will define the success of the project.
This hotel and casino conglomerate operates in four different continents. Their principles of unique and quality experience, exceptional customer service, unrivaled product and innovative technology have made them a business empire.
About the Computer Technology Company
This computer technology company manufactures computer hardware, develops software, builds computing infrastructure and offers consulting services. The company's vast experience and expertise in the computing field, coupled with innovative technology, has endeared it to a global market.
The hotel chain (the buyer) engaged the services of the computer technology company (the seller) to provide Data Center and Application Development services. The hotel was seeking to have a stable foundation for their data and applications and found this in the services of the computer technology provider. Negotiations between the two parties were concluded successfully culminating in an agreement.
At the time of negotiations, the buyer had specifications for the project which were duly satisfied by the seller. However, over the course of the implementation, scope creep reared its ugly head. The seller identified ways in which the project could be improved and the buyer approved the recommendations.
As a result, the project grew exponentially and so did the cost. The main objective of the project was achieved but with additional features which were not defined in the initial agreement. In the end, the hotel chain had to pay for these additional features. The project budget was exceeded because of the extra fees.
WIN(win) has management tools that control scope creep. The solution tracks the project implementation budget vs. spend. When any deviation is detected, the buyer is alerted. The buyer can then engage the seller regarding the scope creep with tangible data.
Initially, the hotel chain had no way of tracking implementation of projects by suppliers. When dealing with the computer technology company, the hotel chain also approved additional features, thereby expanding the project and overall cost without considering the budget. As a result, the project took longer to complete and ended up costing more than was budgeted for.
With WIN(win), the company now has an efficient way to track projects from suppliers. Decisions to allow or disallow additional features are now based on data derived from tracking budget and spend dashboards. The milestone watch lists set for the projects give clear indication if suppliers are on track and whether the projects will be delivered on time. The data from these can be shared directly with the supplier on an ongoing basis to 'fine tune' both the project and relationship.
The hotel chain needed the Data Center and the Application Development but what they did not anticipate was how big the project could grow. Even though they had defined the requirements, the incremental and additional features seemed like an improvement to their objective. The computer technology provider was a willing supplier whose main intention was to retain their buyer through value added services. The concept was noble but considering it caused the buyer to deviate from the budget and the seller to delay implementation, it was clearly counterproductive. With WIN(win), the Watchlist tracks project implementation, alerting the parties of any deviation and indicating the consequences.
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