Change Management – Budget Airlines and Software Development Companies

Recently I had an opportunity to travel on a budget airline. When the boarding was announced, the ground staff swung into action, checking for the weight of the hand baggage of each of the passenger boarding the aircraft. One could literally see the joy in their faces when a passenger had more than the allowed 7Kg hand baggage (including the duty free items purchased). As it was a popular duty free destination, many of the passengers had purchased quite a few of the items in the duty free shops and ended up paying for the excess baggage. It appeared as if the airline was able to collect a decent amount by the time all the passengers boarded. There were also a few minor exchanges between the cabin crew and the passengers relating to the storage of the ‘excess’ baggage. All through, the message was clear. This is a budget airline and we will charge extra at every possible opportunity. While they may be ‘correct’ in enforcing, I think it did not go well with most of the passengers (not just the passengers who got charged extra).

I was wondering if software development companies (not just the ‘low cost’ development companies) are also viewed by the customers in a similar manner. No sooner there is a change in requirements (even if it is a ‘small’ one from the customer’s perspective), the development team swings into action and shares the additional cost for the change (at times, even if it means a reduction in work for the development team). This potentially annoys the customer. I guess the software development companies need to be reasonable in handling Change Management / Scope Creep, to avoid the customer from ‘switching off’.

I can fully understand the behaviour of the budget airlines; I hope the customers also understand about Change Management.


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