Law Zero: No Project Should Be Allowed to Proceed Without Clear Specification and Acceptance Criteria, that Are Understood by All Participants

Many readers would consider this law as a statement of the obvious, but then same might be said of many truisms we choose to ignore. It is a fact that breaches of the Zeroth Law are at the heart of most project failures. What makes such breaches so serious is that when a significant difference in interpretation of part of the project specification exists within the ­project community the fault-line is often hidden until well into the work, when change ranges from difficult to impossible.

Note that I have used the term participants and not the more fashionable stake-holders: the project stake-holders ...

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