You have read about a variety of concepts and methodologies suggesting actions to be taken before a project is even started. Although there is a great deal of commonality across these readings, there are some differences. For example, one reading suggests that well written requirements form the basis of a contract with the sponsor. Other readings suggest that a go-no go decision to start a project only occurs after a requirements specification and a feasibility study have both been completed. Another important distinction is that between potential projects performed internally and potential projects performed under contract for another organization. Discuss with your course mates the following issues. Consider the situation where you are working under contract for another organization. If you are given a set of project specifications (detailed requirements), to what degree should you attempt to understand the needs behind these requirements before or after starting the project? Who should pay for any time spent understanding customer needs? What can or should be done when the customer withholds information (claiming confidentiality issues) that affects the project? Can your company's reputation be affected if you successfully complete poorly specified requirements from the sponsor that do not meet the customer's needs? If so, what can you do about it? Now consider the situation where you are an internal project manager and the project sponsor has asked you to perform pre-project needs assessment. How might you react if people are hesitant to talk to you during needs assessment because they are concerned that they will look bad? How should you handle the discovery of unethical behavior when performing needs assessment? How will your actions in this situation affect your ability to conduct needs assessment for future projects? How do you handle the situation where people are unwilling to talk to you because of their perception that you are not important enough to talk with, either because of you position/power or because of their time constraints? How detailed and in what format should needs be documented?
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