A great blog by Adam Deane on Delivery Focused BPM.

It starts There’s a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?

The analogy is that there are some strong parallels with projects – IT project, construction projects, BPM projects. Should the emphasis be on delivering on time, or delivering on quality.

Perhaps this image helps

As Adam argues in his blog, there is no right or wrong here. It depends on the type of customer, the type of project, your relationship with the customer, your ability to persuade…

If the customer says: “I don’t want it perfect, I need it on Wednesday. I need to present it to the CEO” – you have room to manoeuvre on “under the bonnet” detail and can concentrate on presentation / look and feel.

If the customer says: “Technical review is on Wednesday” – you need to complete the technical parts. Content is key and everything else can probably be postponed.

If the customer says: “I need it completed on Wednesday” – Well… basically you’re screwed.

So his last option is basically “Blow up the bus and kill the hostages”.

Perhaps the real answer is before you get on the bus take a hard look at the other

passengers and ask “where are you going and which route are you taking?”

That’s the standard rules for a Nightbus at 2am in London.

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