Making proposals can be a discouraging task if there’s no clear presales process in mind. When we talk about IT business proposals in terms of selling solutions, a technical approach is often viewed as the best solution, but you need more than a simple idea to produce results.
Companies are becoming more dependent on their IT departments to not only process project request offers, but also be a strategic partner in developing complex, financially sound plans to achieve specific business outcomes. That said, why is IT so hesitant to tell the business what something will cost?
While many teams can use help structuring their conversations, some teams also need some way to know whether the structured conversations that have taken place have provided sufficient information. Kent McDonald explains how using visualization boards can help in these situations.
Payson Hall writes that it is dangerous to describe or assess IT investments without context. As an IT professional, you need to work with accounting subject matter experts and take the time to develop more robust business proposals for your IT system that are explicit about costs and assumptions.
Dan Horvath explores useful metrics that utilize function point analysis (FPA) that you can apply to agile projects. Dan shows how to measure productivity and quality as well as how to estimate for agile projects.
Estimating time for software development in groups can be tricky. The first person's response often plants an idea in the heads of the rest of the group, leading to an incorrect estimate. One way of getting around this is to play a few rounds of planning poker.
In many ways, estimating project budgets or dates for agile projects turns out to be irrelevant. If you have a ranked backlog, and you finish features, you can always stop the project if you hit a particular date or cost.
Lisa Crispin writes that you need to understand the purpose of a user story or feature. Start with the "why." You can worry later about the "how." The customers get to decide on the business value to be delivered. They generally aren't qualified to dictate the technical implementation of that functionality. It's up to the technical team to decide the best way to deliver the desired feature through the software.