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Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

Being Picky About Projects

Imagine there’s a project to be delivered and you’re the only decision-maker in the whole company. Which arguments would you consider?

I guess the most obvious ones are price and effort you need to complete the task. That’s for sure. Let’s consider money and effort suit you fine.

What else? Fluency of your team in a given technology. Alignment with your current product portfolio. Alignment with your future product plans. Current workload and free resources. Something about the customer? The way they work with vendors. Tendency to invite scope creep. Character of people you’re going to work with.

Now, having said that you’re happy basic criteria, which of these are important or even essential for you? Would you work with assholes on the other side as far as they pay you good money? Would you go for a project which has virtually no connection with your current products?

I guess answers will differ depending on a company but almost no one would take the project which sucks in each of above metrics. We all are more or less picky about projects and, as a result, about customers. The more mature the organization is the more picky we become. And that’s wise, since it isn’t so rare when taking a project does more harm than leaving it for competitors.

Picking customers wise is especially important when you start a business which aims at other companies as clients. On the beginning there’s urge to catch anything which can be caught and that’s perfectly understandable because on the beginning you’re always in the red. However as the time passes starting another project isn’t “to be or not to be” kind of question and still choosing a bad one can take you several steps back. Unless you one of biggest consulting companies which would take whatever a customer wants but would charge a price which could cover all the inconveniences and much more.

How do you judge which projects are worth taking? How do you decide which customers are worth working for?

Whole Entrepreneurs Time series.

in: entrepreneurship

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