Managing Scope, Budget and Timing

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Last updated January 7, 2012.

As well as the costs and time required to implement the software solution you should also be aware of the investment required throughout the selection process. For those tasked with choosing a software solution there are normally a number of requirements.

These include:

Timescale

How long will it take to analyze and decide on the new software? Is there a deadline for this software to be in production? If so, it is important to plan out the time required using a Gantt chart or similar tool to determine the time needed for each step? For example, if you need to put proposals in front of a committee how much lead time do you need to set up a meeting?

Scope

There is normally no definitive answer when searching for the best solution. It is important to understand from the offset how detailed the analysis is expected to be. Is this a major system that requires detailed comparisons or a minor add-on that will only be used occasionally?

Management Reporting Needs

In addition to finding the best software solution for your library, there are commonly reporting or justification requirements. You will need to consider what evidence will be required to justify the decision you ultimately make and ensure that this data is collected throughout the process. Any examples of reporting from previous successful selection processes that can be shared will be useful.

Budget

How much time and resource is required or available for this process? Engagement is an important consideration but how many days input can you rely on from colleagues? Is there a budget to hire consultants? What percentage of your time can you devote to this process?

Especially when working in a large team it is important to ensure that relevant tasks are carried out at the suitable pay grade. More knowledgeable staff will be able to provide valuable input but their time will be more costly. Equally less experienced staff may spend an inordinate amount of time gathering information that more senior staff can readily supply.