Project Management

Scope Creep

People have asked me how to stop scopr creep. The way I do it is to have a change review board that every scope change must go through to be reviewd. That usually stops the managers from adding scope since I ask theym to sign off on the change management board in the beginning.

The decond problem id when and engineer wants to add scope on his own. To stop that, I have team members put in their time daily and their remaining time to get a task done. That helps me to find potential scope creep.

It is also vital to explain the whole process to the team and stakeholders. No one really wants the projct to fail and when they realize the impact of adding a little code enhancement to the testing and documentation groups, they tend to stay away from it.

That being said, it is a #1 problem in Project Management. Just keep on top of the project at all times.

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August 19, 2009 - Posted by | Phase Review Process, PMP, Project Management |

3 Comments »

  1. Donna,

    How do you connect work effort (to date and to go) with creeping scope?

    It seems the invested time and the remaining time are connected to efficiency of the team. Scope may remain the same and the time (effort) increase.

    Comment by Glen B. Alleman | August 20, 2009 | Reply

    • First, I would expect you did a wbs and had estimates done with the engineers. I also expect you would have signed off the scope, then the requirements, then the specs etc. If all of that is true, the only way scope can creep in is for someone to either write it even if it is not on their schedule or a high level manager tells someone to put a feature in. In the first case, you need to have a talk with that engineer and understand why the scope change was needed and why he didn’t go thought the scope change review process (where all stakeholders would know the why, how and what it cost to approve the decision). If you have a manager trying to subvert the project, I would talk to them about the proper process. In the beginning of the project all stakeholders and team members should agree on the process so it shouldn’t be surprised. As a Project Manager, you own that schedule no matter what level of management wants to add a feature (and there may be one). Just make sure everyone understands the process and that if scope change happens, the schedule and risks increase.Are you using the PMI Pmbok as a reference? It states the functions of each phase of the project and the fact that the closer you are to the end, the more expensive the change will be. What I do if a change is approved, is have it estimated by the coder, tester, technical writer and myself. I put that into a schedule and re-run the critical base levels and present the results to the scope change team and make sure they know what they are buying into

      Donna

      Donna

      Comment by Donna Ritter | August 20, 2009 | Reply

    • Are you using the PMI PMBOK as a reference? It states the functions of each phase of the project and the fact that the closer you are to the end, the more expensive the change will be. What I do if a change is approved, is have it estimated by the coder, tester, technical writer and myself. I put that into a schedule and re-run the critical base levels and present the results to the scope change team and make sure they know what they are buying into.

      What you may be experiencing is people who have trouble estimating their work, and then you need to get them a mentor and training if needed.

      I am lucky; I was brought up in the computer business so I know when an estimate looks wrong. I also have every estimate broken down until their work packages are 1 week at the most. In Software, we always find out more information as the project goes along, but as long as the project manager and team stay on top of the schedule daily, the changes usually can be accommodated without problem. I get to know my team, and if I know someone is not good at estimating, I change their estimate or put their resource allocation in MS project at a lower percentage. I’m not sure what your circumstances are, but I have pulled all nighters and such to catch up to the schedule if need be. It is really an art more than a science.

      Donna

      Comment by Donna Ritter | August 20, 2009 | Reply


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