Fixed Bid Projects and Iron Triangle on Agile

Fixed Bid Projects:

Fixed bid projects are invariably governmental in nature and where the project is bid on a wider platform with given set of parameters and features that are unchanging to a major extent. The advantage of Agile is that it allows room for fixed bid projects as well.

The following steps need to be followed while pursuing a Fixed Bid Project using Agile methods

  1. Always be clear to break down the features into understandable units and get the confirmation from the customer. Involve the customer in the process. Running through the Priority List with the customer on a Agile process is one of the best experiences to understand the level of involvement of the customer in the process and also a step towards proofing the requirements. Most of our Customers are offshore and we schedule a common time when we conduct this meeting of going through the Priority list. This will also be a step towards understanding why a feature is considered of top priority to another in the list. Once such a list has been generated you will find tha pareto principle in effect that 20 % of the items in list contribute to 80% of the project in terms of deliverables.
  2. Never underbid on Fixed price projects . Trying to cut corners in a effort to outbid competitors will be very risky when it comes to fixed bid projects even though you allow room for slack it will be gradually absorbed in the system
  3. Keep room for minor changes but at the same time ensure that change process itself is elaborate and requires the customer intervention when it comes to Fixed Bid projects.At this point i would like to metion that in reality even though we start with projects on a fixed bid as you involve the customer across the various sprints and as he lives through the project the customer tends to effect change and that in turn leads to changes in the three vertices of the Iron Triangle of Project management.
  4. When you are on Fixed bid project mode the following needs to be take care. Ensure that you are working with your existing team whose capabilities are known to you. Work in known domain and known technology where it becomes easy for you to time box the feature list.

Always remember that end of the day our job is about “delivering what the customer needs and is not just about perfect requirements gathering, specifying or planning ”

Iron Triangle

Project management will always be subject to a said tenets of Cost, Time and Scope . The overall quality of the project gets severely compromised if one tries to change just one of the tenets and keeping the other two parameters constant. Each vertex of the triangle form a key element in terms of the project deliverable and the success of the project. The three different vertices’s of the triangle manage

1.Features and Functionality

2. Schedule and time

3. Resources and budget

The reasoning goes something like this given a said resources are available under cost and if the scope of the project is subject to change then it will also impact the other two tenets as well. This is what we call the Iron Triangle. If we try to reduce the cost of the project either by downsizing resources or by cutting the budget then we need to compromise on the scope of the project as well as on the time for delivery need to be extended. Overall this will also affect the quality of the project. Due to this nature of inflexibility it is thus called the Iron Triangle.

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