Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video Addressing scope fuzziness, part of Project Management: Preventing Scope Creep.
Remember, the scope statement should be the basis for making future project decisions. For example, how you prioritize your triple constraints should clearly map back to your scope statement. The scope statement will also be used to measure successful completion when the work is done. So, the term scope fuzziness refers to an overly vague understanding of the work to be done. Scope fuzziness can occur for a number of reasons. It maybe be due to poorly defined requirements or genuine changes. Scope may evolve creating new requirements or the customer may simply be asking for additional features.
Then there's the potential problem of a team member introducing gold plating. Adding unrequested features to the project. Your best coping strategy for resolving fuzzy requirements will incorporate many of the techniques we've already discussed. A mature or disciplined organization will require the changes be documented and accessed to understand the total impact as well as the value for making each change. So, change request forms and change control processes are essential. You also want to examine the possibility that this latest request actually be added to a later release or become a new project entirely.
The other aspect to examine is around changes being added based on the best intentions of team members thinking they're adding value for the client's sake. This type of gold plating may simply require some education of team members on the overall impact when adding new features. These same great ideas may be better introduced to the client as things to consider as paid changes or for consideration at a later time. When the issue stems from ill defined or fuzzy requirements during planning. This can be improved by following the smart technique for defining requirements. The SMART technique asks, are your requirements specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound? All requirements must have clear and measurable specifications.
The more we engage this discipline, the less you will struggle building out the work breakdown structure to include 100% of the work and giving clients sign-off when the work has actually been produced. Another technique when dealing with fuzzy requirements is a more inclusive method for gathering requirements. One such technique is called Joint Application Design meetings or more simply, JAD meetings. Greater end-user or customer involvement increases clarity by incorporating this collaborative technique. The facilitator's role in JAD sessions is to engage all the appropriate stakeholders as active participants in the meeting, to make project decisions and create detailed requirements for the project deliverables.
The JAD facilitator conducts the meeting using collaborative techniques to collect information, validate the information and continually adjust to insure it is clear, complete and addresses the needs of the project. The result of a successful JAD meeting is consensus among meeting participants. Buy-in and ownership on all decisions made, as well as buy-in and ownership of the deliverables to be included in the original scope baseline. Stand firm on your requests for clear, concise requirements before you begin your project work.
Make certain the client signs the statement of work and understands any changes could affect their budget and timeline. Again, this is crucial step to help ensure your project is set up for success.
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- What is scope creep?
- Why does scope change?
- Factoring in organizational maturity
- Setting scope and requirements
- Building a budget
- Resetting unrealistic expectations
- Resolving communication issues with stakeholders<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.