It’s not widely known but here at ECS we have a secret employee. He appears on every project we do and plays a key role defining the project shape. Let me introduce Oscar.
Oscar is the ECS method of shaping projects. Of course you’ve guessed by now that Oscar is an acronym and it stands for:
- Critical Success Factors
Before any project starts we go through the Oscar analysis and use the results to clarify the project and inform the project team. Briefly, the steps are:
Objectives. What is the project planning to achieve? What are the aims of the project or what will be different after the project has finished?
Scope. What’s in scope and what’s out of scope? If this project affects other systems are their updates part of our project or someone elses?
Critical Success Factors. How will we know that the project has finished and, importantly, that it has been a success? How will we measure it? Remember that the Critical Success Factors must be clear and easy to measure.
Assumptions. What assumptions is the project based on? Are we relying on other people or other systems to be in place?
Risks. What can go wrong, how likely is it and what can we do about it if it happens?
So there you have it, Oscar, a simple but effective way of getting our projects heading on the right track.