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The Elephant…I mean Project Budget Question…in the Room

Prior to implementing NAV, LS Retail, or any software package for that matter, it is important to have documented requirements approved by the stakeholders.

In software implementations, asking for the client's budget is often the elephant in the room

The Project Management Office here at ArcherPoint engages with our clients in what we call a “project preparation work effort” to help identify these requirements, which lays the foundation for upcoming software implementations. As a client-project team, with this step we are creating the project scope. From these requirements, the ArcherPoint team then crafts a solution that not only meets the client’s requirements, but also fits their budget as well.

But that brings up a question: What IS your budget? It’s an awkward conversation to have, and thankfully, I’m not in Sales, where this question is posed and these conversations are held regularly. I imagine it’s like a poker game; nobody wants to show their cards…and I get it, I really do. As a customer, I would want to hold my budget… my cards…close to my chest. I wouldn’t want my vendor to come back with an estimate that just so happens to exactly match my budget. Of course, I would want them to estimate the project based on the requirements! On the other side of that coin, however, are project managers, the fine folk who have the ability to craft a solution and approach that will fit almost any budget. This is where things could get a little squirrely—but they don’t have to.

During the project prep engagements, the ArcherPoint PMO (Project Management Office) team will also ask to see your cards – we’ll also ask the budget question. However, we ask for a different reason: We want to know your budget so that, as the team walks away from a requirements gathering session, begins to craft the solution, and estimate the project, we do so with a true understanding of your needs, you desired “future state,” and just as importantly, your current resources. Our team has multiple ways of delivering to your requirements, and by “showing your cards,” we can craft a solution that will best align your budget with those requirements.

If your current budget can’t quite get you to your ideal future state, let’s talk. Together we can work on a project plan that will deliver what you need to get started up front and give you the most bang for your buck. We can also work with your team to design a plan for moving forward, such as splitting out the project into multiple phases. With our agile approach, we can still deliver business value that is immediately usable, that spans across a budget period, and that gets you the solution you have in mind one piece at a time.

In my next blog, I will talk about how, by using the agile approach, your project gets prioritized and requirements are phased naturally – with or without a need to break down your project into phases.

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