We see it all the time. People are afraid to go live with a new system. Once they see that date on the calendar, all of a sudden they start thinking of features they think they need immediately. Unfortunately, that quickly leads to scope creep, which in turn leads to budget creep.

If these are things you never had before, do you really need to delay going live for them? Or can you wait and add them in later?

It’s interesting that people are perfectly okay with cloud-based solutions that aren’t custom. They know they can make that work and are okay with not being able to customize things. But once it’s custom software, it seems more like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

But it’s not! With most larger organizations—especially government institutions—it’s not like you can just add 10% to the budget with a snap of your fingers.

Instead, our recommendation is typically that we go live at the scheduled time, then add those things afterward. Often our clients find that they had lost track of the big picture, and they really didn’t need those features. Which means they were going to spend money that they didn’t need to spend.

And the more features like that you add, the more unnecessary risk you’re introducing to the project. The worst case scenario is that we spend 12 hours here, 10 hours there, and the next thing you know you don’t have money left in the budget for us to help on an ongoing basis. You need us to pick up the phone and answer emails, but you already used that budget on the additional features.

So look at the big picture. Is adding these features really necessary at this stage? Have you accounted for support you’ll need immediately after the project goes live?

If not, don’t throw those things in at the last minute. We’re not saying you won’t ever get those features. We’re just saying to wait and prioritize how you’re going to spend your budget.

Just go live, then you can decide if it’s still worth adding those features later.

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