Geneca published a popular article citing that 75 percent of survey respondents felt their software projects were doomed to fail from the start. Yikes!
My guess is that 75 percent of those respondents attributed this to poor project definition. Uncertainty is scary, especially when you’re being asked to put your money where your mouth is.
In my role at TriComB2B, I am responsible for estimating marketing technology projects, ranging from websites and mobile apps to email campaigns and touch-screen kiosks. Usually, projects are initiated with a Request for Quote (RFQ) or some form of budgeting discussion. Often, this discussion takes place before the agency and client fully understand the project goals. Tight deadlines can exacerbate that lack of understanding, not allowing either party the bandwidth to definitively agree on a final direction. Marketing technology projects tend to be large and complex, so scoping and estimating are challenging. These complexities can compound quickly, so it’s only natural that everyone might be a little anxious from the outset.
Understanding a project takes time
In marketing technology, the sky is the limit. With time, money and resources, you can build just about anything. In addition, there are usually numerous paths to building desired functionality, each with its own time and cost estimate. That product finder you want? Probably five to 10 possible user experiences. A dealer locator app? Don’t get me started on the variables we could encounter when building this. Content for your site or tool? How much is your internal team really going to be able to produce? To understand the full depth, we’re going to need a few discussions.
And even if we think we have it nailed, we need to be honest about what actually happens in development. Things come up. Some of the details won’t reveal themselves until we’re farther into development. That’s okay, though. There are steps we can take to mitigate these risks.