Cost and time overruns in e-learning projects don’t happen over night. In fact, they happen in each phase of the project, whether big or small. To find out the root cause of this problem, let’s look at some of the reasons that causes cost overrun and schedule delay
1. Starting a project before the inputs are ready
It is common for organizations to start a project before they’re ready. They provide provisionary inputs and ask the vendor to proceed. The vendor often puts in a lot of effort to comprehend the inputs at the initial stage, with the help of the SMEs and stakeholders. Inspite of all these efforts, you don’t find good progress. Provisionary inputs result in re-work, delays and cost overruns.
2. Quoting before knowing
Sometimes it happens; before knowing the complete project scope we started quote for the same. Often, estimates are prepared in a hurry. At first, it appears that the project involves only a small amount of work,but as time progresses, a completely different picture emerges. For example, there might be some complex animations involved that consume most of the production time, and we wrongly estimate this when we quote. As the number of hours spent goes up, cost over runs occur.
3. Inadequate planning and poor scheduling
Inadequate planning and scheduling leads to chaos among other projects. Due to inadequate time estimations, resources have to work overtime to meet the deadlines which will indirectly result in cost overruns. Inaccurate time forecasts also have a negative impact on quality deliverables.
4. Wrong assumptions
The mismatch between two brains results in rework and cost overruns. To avoid this,both the parties should sign off the scope prior to commencement of actual development. A prototype,developed before actual production starts, helps scale up the requirement greatly.
5. Change of owner/stakeholders
A change of owner/stakeholders creates lots of differences in a project. The expectations of the new stakeholders may differ completely, from the previous stakeholders. If this is the case, all the work done already will have to be discarded. Similarly, when there is a change in the internal teams, problems such as ineffective transfer of project knowledge to new team members may take place, and this results in re-work, delays and cost overruns.
These are some of the common mistakes I come across in my day-to-day professional life; do share the ones you come across, too.