todolist # 1 - Read and understand the contract and the SOW

Before you start work on a project, understand the contract and the statement of work well, especially the contractual risks. It can be technical or commercial. It can be internal or external. Look for the feasibility of the required scope, schedule and cost. One of our competitors underquoted us and took an order to realize later that they will incur a huge loss if they exceute that project. So they did not start the project, which resulted in them getting blacklisted from all government contracts in that particular country.

In another project, it was a software and hardware bundled project, where the major chunk of the order value was of hardware. So the hardware requirements were spelled out very clearly and the software component was a blanket requirement and it read like "All the software needs of the customer", and somebody started the project. The project ran for 5 years and everybody was a looser in that project.

In another case, the villain was the technology. The then prevailing technology was not allowing us to to meet the acceptance criteria defined in the contract.

So be careful. Spend enough time to understand the contractual obligations and the scope of work.


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