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Home » Project Management

Project Work: Buy vs. Build Basics

Submitted by James Higginbotham on June 20, 2006 – 8:14 pmOne Comment

Everything is a trade-off: time vs. money, low-cost vs. high-cost, high-tech vs. low-tech. We all have to make decisions when we do things. Unfortunately, it is common within churches and ministries to always go the cheap route, even if it means poor quality or waiting a long time to achieve the goal. Church Marketing Sucks had a great post recently titled The Church & Money: Plasma TV or Feed the Poor?:

We still need to make wise use of the funds available. But we also shouldn’t have guilt for buying a state of the art projector or top-notch signage for our facilities.

We must understand the impact of those tradeoffs to not only your staff and members, but most importantly, to your future visitors. As you are planning your project, you must spend time evaluating what is out there. Whether it is for a web redesign, new marketing collateral, or a new building, you should have more than one option and at least one should require a decision about money.

A great example (on a smaller scale) is the purchase of hard drives. How easy is it to go find a cheap hard drive at Fry’s, Best Buy, or some other outlet? They even come with rebates that give you an even better deal! But, instead of rushing out, you should be weighing out the options:

  1. What are my other options/models?
  2. What are their cost and feature differences?
  3. What is the mean time between failure (MTBF) of those drives – will I be replacing them in 6 months? Does a quick Google search reveal disgruntled buyers?
  4. Will they be used 24 x 7 x 365 or just in limited use? hould I consider RAID 1 or RAID 5 to provide a better reliability?
  5. Will my visitors suffer if I select something cheaper, then it fails at a bad time?

Remember the tradeoffs and weight the options – this is what Jesus asks us to do when He says to “count the costs” before we begin.

[tags]Buy vs. Build, project planning, project plans[/tags]

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