From Cibernética Americana
I've prepared this text to efficiently process to common currently occurring and related phenomena.
The first is the amount of unpaid work I can put in a lead before I must have some payment if I have not decided to do the work on some other basis.
I am just a single struggling worker so I am forced to spend no more time on a lead than a rational expectation of closing and completing a job indicates is justified. Necessarily there will be some failures and some potential good clients will be lost. I started my professional programming career as a junior employee of a conglomerate that was working as a subcontractor to IBM in the acquisition and award phase of a contract that spanned more than a year.
I am risk averse and I also am loathe to perform work in this Era where one must work very fast in requirements analysis and design for nothing. This doesn't mean I won't do it, but the capital entity requesting such unpaid service must be such that I can be reasonably sanguine about the aforementioned expectation.
The second is so-called Capability Maturity (CMM) and its antipattern CIMM , which has to do with the reliablity of estimates in CMM Level I situations.
Of course the lack of adequate requirements and design is the penultimate root cause of failure in software development projects (the ultimate being the universal failure of responsibility).