A paper originally presented to the PMSA Global Knowledge Conference,
Monday May 10, 2004,
Midrand, South Africa.
Published here January 2005.

Introduction | The Project | Project Management Processes | Progress
Things Start to Go Wrong | Workshop Outcome | Next Steps | What Went Wrong?
The Purchase Process and Buyer's Remorse | Suggestions to Avoid Similar Situations
Commentary | Issues for Discussion

Next Steps

The matter was referred to the steering committee, which recommended that the SP put together a presentation giving the reasons for the upgrade. This was done and the Client decided not to proceed with the project. The relationship between the Client and the SP remained cordial. Since there was no "exit clause" the Client remained with the older version of the software for the duration of the contract. It did, however, buy a competitor product and slowly moved its business onto it. But what did the Client actually think of the project?

Client Perspective

Time was spent with the Client to find out what the thinking had been and where things had gone wrong. The most obvious question was: "Why did you wait so long before saying you were not happy with the upgrade".

The Client Project Manager used the analogy that he had been promised a car and that is what was delivered. He said that the only difference was that he was expecting a Ferrari and instead he got a Fiat UNO. He had been one of the signatories on the project definition but probably had not understood all the detail. See Figure 4 for comments from the Client Project Manager and the User Technical Consultant.

Client Project Manager: "... the project was delivered according to specification; overall all went well"

User Technical Consultant: "I agree. The project deliverables are not in dispute, and we have always had the assurance that we will get what we have paid for. The problem is not with the delivery, it is with the potential cost and benefit of implementing the upgrade."

Figure 4: The Client's post-project perspective

They seem to be saying that the project was fine but the product was not. This may have been their opinion but the fact is they stopped the project because they were not happy with what was to be produced.

Workshop Outcome  Workshop Outcome

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