Project Management

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Topics: Communications Management, Estimating, Information Technology, Scheduling
Dealing with project showstopper
In an IT software implementation project, the project came to a stop when faced with a showstopper issue. A proper solution is available from your RnD department but due to current workload, RnD can only deliver the solution in 3-4 months. Your client disagree and asks for a workaround solution to keep the original timeline. As workaround solution usually introduces regression, what would you do as a PM of that project?
Depends on the contract with the client and how big the estimated effect of regression risk is and if workaround can fulfill project requirements - or has to be removed within the contract lateron. If it does not have to be removed, risk is within resonable size, I would follow workaround if timeline can be kept or significantly shortened compared to waiting for solution. Otherwise it depends on the balance and the contract of course. Usually it's a matter of negotiation - maybe risk sharing, but also depending on contract. If you're tightly bound, your client does not agree to negotiation, you won't have a chance other than to follow Clients decision (I was in such projects before). If you have a good relationship with the client usually you can negotiate a good solution.
It also depends on client's situation: how bad is the delay for him? what consequences? Can you mitigate at least some of them? Even if you're implementing IT Software, solution is not only technical IT Software - it's always something more. So get to know what's on stakes for the client (you should have a clear view of that out of stakeholder analysis, don't you have it?)

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