on Time with errors

We discussed different aspects of project management during our last class, which are highly important and rewarding if applied properly in real life. However, some projects, if not most, can go towards unwanted directions or results.

In the company I work with, we had a project of launching a new system at a specific budget and within a very short time (6 months). Both cost and time were out of negotiation, so we couldn’t increase the allocated budget nor increase or extend the project period. This was a real challenge and a very stressful situation. So what did we do? We worked together, the project
manager and the functional lead, and put all our effort in planning the project from the different perspectives of a project, such as:

  • Project integration management.
  • Project scope management.
  • Project time management.
  • Project cost management.
  • Project quality management.
  • Project human resource management.
  • Project communications management.
  • Project risk management.
  • Project procurement management.

It might sound a bit complicated, but with the help of PMBOK guide, which is a frame work for project management, we were able to plan and execute the project efficiently.

For more information on PMBOK guide, please click the below link:


Our project was delivered on time and within budget but of course the output quality of the project was not superb. Because the emphasis from the higher management was on time and cost, we had to deliver a lower quality system that suffered from minor issues which were considered as none show stoppers.

Another issue that has contributed to the output quality was the changing requirements of system users. As the project progressed, the end users of the system had a clearer picture of their requirements and how the system should behave in
different cases. Such requests for changing the requirements or adding additional requirements are handled by monitoring and controlling process. Most of the requested changes were considered as chargeable change request, which means that we have to pay additional cost to the system vendor, and this of course was unfeasible, hence, the change requests were declined and the system did not deliver the modified or additional requirements.

From management point of view, they were happy that the project was delivered on time without exceeding project budget, however, from end users’ view; they considered that the project did not fully satisfy their requirements.

I personally think that we could have achieved a better quality results if the project was scheduled for a longer period (more than 6 months) because for any system, it has to meet end users’ requirements, and because it’s the end users who are going to use the system, not the management.

Do you think we should deliver a project on the specified time and cost even if the project’s output suffers from errors?

How would you act if you are in a situation where the higher management is only concerned about time and cost but not performance?


5 thoughts on “on Time with errors

  1. I think that having a budget and time constraints are always the hardest things to deal with when it comes to projects. Especially if you know from the start that you will need more time than what was given to you. It is certainly hard to argue with management when it comes to projects. In my perspective, I think a project is only complete when it is efficient and therefore if more time is needed to give a proper output then so be it. Sometimes management will just have to accept that certain things have to be done in certain ways for it to be efficient. In some cases if a project is completed inefficiently, it might end up costing the company more to repair it in the long run.

  2. I can relate to your post in the sense that i am currently an end user who is using a very frustrating and relatively new system that seems like it had alot of ‘compromises’ . to answer your question, YES i believe a little bit more time should be given in order for the project to at least not compromise too much on quality. having a project with an output that is suffering from errors will just be frustrating and will defy the whole purpose of the project. i also bring this up because we are currently going through another very long and costly change request. so why compromise on time & cost if your going to eventually encounter it again?

    “How i would act if i was higher management” is that i will try my best to insure that there is a balance. How i would make up my mind would be situational on how large scale the project is. But my opinion is, get it right the first time and do minor changes along the way.

  3. I believe if I were facing such a situation, my course of action towards upper management would be, pointing out the inevitable project shortcomings that would result due to insufficient time and money. I think upper management would be keener to invest more time and money in a project if they knew that otherwise, the project quality will suffer. In other words, if somehow the project manager was able to convey to higher management that a more substantial short term investment would result in ample long term profits, they would be more flexible toward the project’s time and cost constraints.

  4. Hi,this is a very interesting topic for me, my view is for any product to be successful, customer satisfaction is the ultimate benchmark. Here even though the project was completed within the given constraints of time and cost – the end result is not as intended. The end user would invest in the product and on finding that there were technical shortfalls, request for changes. Now when we inform them that the changes are chargeable and additional cost is involved, he/she will feel cheated. Slowly the marker reputation will suffer and ultimately the product will go off market demand. Most of the time project managers pressurize their teams with deadlines to achieve faster results at a lower cost. However, in spite of all constraints, the quality of the output should also be emphasized on. If I were to encounter such a situation where cost and time is the only concern, not performance – I would clearly communicate with higher management and try to convince them that if too much restriction is placed on time and money, the quality of performance may not be appreciable by the end user’s. We would try to reach a consensus where both goals are met.

  5. I believe that it depends from one company to another, in your situation maybe it was better to wait to deliver a better product. As you mentioned it’s the triangle of trade-offs:
    However notice the change in plan that you mentioned when the picture became clearer , I think we all faced that on our second activity in class , we were planning all the time and changing the shape of our product because we were formulating a picture that becomes clearer and clearer by time. Im a straight forwards guy , I would talk to my Managers in private and clearly ( and respectfully ) indicate the errors and give my thoughts.

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