Posted on August 25th, 2010 in - Kathy Martucci, Best Practices, Communication, Constraints, Leadership, Management, Project Management, Reporting, Resources, Scope | No Comments »
by Kathy Martucci, PMP
Goldplating. Say that word out loud. It sounds really great rolling off the tongue. But wait! As rich and wonderful as it sounds, it is a dangerous trend when it starts to become the norm on your project.
As conscientious project managers, we all want our customers to be happy. So what’s wrong with making them ecstatic? What’s wrong with giving them more than they need?
Although goldplating is typically a product-related term used to indicate that the technical team is overeager or trying to find an opportunity to use new technology, features or other “bells and whistles” on your project, the tendency to over-deliver may not be confined to the technical staff.
Maybe you can rein in your developers and impress on them that goldplating is not a bargain. You can give the speech on goldplating and how it can increase operation and maintenance costs and reduce quality. But what do you do when it’s your managers and you that start to over-deliver? How can you keep perfectionists and over-achievers from going that extra mile?
The prospect of delighting, not just satisfying, your customers is appealing. But if you and your managers spend precious resources on the extras, your budget and your project are going to be out of control.
Some critical keys to project success are managing expectations, managing scope, monitoring and controlling the project execution. And, after all, it’s an accepted tenet of project management that success is delivering to the customer’s requirements, not their wish list. This is a bitter pill for us baby-boomer over-achievers to swallow. We feel guilty, as if we’re shirking a duty. But, swallow it we must. Maybe it’s enough to know that by doing so we can deliver projects on budget, on time and within quality standards.