I attended a Certified ScrumMaster training class this year delivered by Lithespeed.  The class was very valuable, and I want to share a tool, trade-off matrix, to help set customer and team expectations.  In my opinion this is a tool that should be used on all projects early in the planning stage.  Here is an example of a trade-off matrix.









All 30 Use Cases Identified



3-6 months






2 Large Bugs per month is acceptable

By documenting this at the beginning of a project, the project sponsor and all project stakeholders (including project team members) have a clear view of what project success looks like.  In the example above success is implementing all features, within a budget close to $500k and somewhere within 3-6 months.  In addition the sponsor is OK with 2 large bugs a month.

You may find that a project sponsor wants everything “Fixed.” By using this matrix to illustrate the triple constraint it helps drives your discussion explaining why there needs to be a trade-off.

I plan on using this to help define success.  Please share any tools you use.

About Kupe

“Kupe” Kupersmith, President, B2T Training, possesses over 18 years of experience in software systems development. He has served as the lead Business Analyst and Project Manager on projects in the Energy, television and sports management and marketing industries. Additionally, he serves as a mentor for business analysis professionals. Kupe is the co-author of Business Analysis for Dummies, a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) and an IIBA® Board Member. Kupe is a requested speaker in the BA field and has presented at many IIBA chapters and BA conferences. Being a trained improvisational comedian, Kupe is sure to make you laugh while you’re learning. For a feel for Kupe’s view on business analysis topics check out his blog on BA Times. Kupe is a connector and has a goal in life to meet everyone!

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