The Clapped Out Car
In some respects a programme can be just like owning a clapped out old car.
Imagine buying an old run around for £500, it might have an MOT on it so your good to go. Use it for a few weeks no problem and then the issues start to arise.
You might be alright for a bit, quick fix here and there and its back on the road but unless your a mechanic or have superb knowledge and skill it wont be a long ownership. That is unless you have a mechanic.
In the context of a programme you wont know you may not know you have a clapped out one at the start of the project. Was it inherited from a tender team or were you involved in the production?
If a programme isn't built right then it wont work very well. Just like a car, some are far more reliable than others (and its not always the case that the premium brands are more reliable either...)
Working with a clapped out programme is going to be problematic, it will be hard work. You might do a quick fix here and there but again like the car analogy unless you have a lot of planning skills and knowledge its unlikely that your going to fix it by yourself.
You will need to get a planner, just like you'd get a mechanic to work on your car.
So many Tier 2 contractors try to plan projects themselves to save money, this is often lumped with an already overstretched project manager. Is this really good value or is it like trying to do a DIY service and repairs on your own car? Yes some may be competent to do so but the vast majority wont have the necessary skills and knowledge to do to a high standard.
You might get lucky some times and the clapped out car ends up being alright and goes for a fair amount before an issue. Likewise with planning, you might go for a while before something trips you up. With the car scenario whats the damage? £500 for another banger if you haven't learnt your lesson?
Whats the damage when a programme goes south? That's going to cost you and its not like there's a quick fix either. This will last the duration of the project but whats the fix for the next project? Another clapped out programme or something a little bit more reliable?
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