How many times have you worked on projects where the product spec is not defined?
This leads to all sorts of issues as the customer tweaks the product spec and the designer responds accordingly, trying to keep the customer happy but at the same time disappointing her because the timescale keeps getting extended to accommodate the changes. A vicious circle develops leading to frustration on all sides & a perception of incompetence which can lead to loss of all important business.
This can be fixed by adopting the following practice:-
1) A milestone MUST be put in the plan, somewhere in the design phase, for product spec sign off by both parties.
2) It should be clearly communicated and understood that any changes following this milestone will be under change control, approved by Senior Management and will impact the timing plan & probably have a cost impact.
This practice is good for both customer & supplier. It forces the customer to clarify what they want and leaves the supplier with no excuse for not meeting planned deliverables once the spec is fixed.
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