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.

 

 

Fixed

Firm

Flexible

Target

Scope

X

All 30 Use Cases Identified

Time

X

3-6 months

Budget

X

$500k

Defects

X

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.

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