Join Terri Wagner for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying that the project was incorrectly sold, part of Project Management: Preventing Scope Creep.
Scope creep or excessive scope changes can be caused by several factors. Some of which may start in the sales cycle. Often the process starts when a customer shares their desire or need for the project with a sales rep. Sales reps are often challenged by clients who don't know exactly what they want. Most sales reps I've worked with do their very best to capture the client needs, close the sale and move the sold project onto the delivery team. So projects can suffer scope creep or excessive scope changes because the customer does not truly know exactly what they want.
To address this issue, the project team may need to re-engage the sales team and validate that the proposed solution will satisfy the original client request. Its far easier to make adjustment or correction to a project when it's in blueprint or prototype form than during or after the project team has created deliverables and artifacts. Addressing issues earlier will be less costly for the client and less frustrating for the project team. Some of you may remember the game called Telephone.
Kids would sit in a circle and the first player will makeup a short sentence then whisper it into the ear of the child next to them. That child will then whisper what they thought they heard in the ear of the next child and so on, until the message gets to the last player in the circle. Then that child shares out loud what they thought they heard. This can be a very entertaining and hilarious game as the last child often says something nonsensical and very different than the original message. A popular and funny example of this happening in a project goes like this.
What was budgeted for the project, what the sales team promised the client, what the project installed based on budget and time and what the customer really wanted all along. When this happens and your project world. It can be very frustrating and actually lead to a lot of rework. If you work in a technically complex field. You may want to make certain there's a proper technical resource available to assist the salesperson with requirement discover and technical feasibility. The last issue we'll explore here may occur when a client is facing end of fiscal year pressure.
In some organization, if the money is not spent it becomes lost opportunity. As the funds will not roll into the next fiscal year. Attempting to spend all the remaining budget before losing the funds can lead to rushing the scoping phase to get the contract signed while funds are still available. In this scenario, it is critical to push back for clarity as much as needed to make certain the client actually has time to validate the stated requirements and proposed solution to have a sound and appropriate project launch rather than a rush job.
If time is critical, and you must sign or lose funding, move forward with the sales team from the high level, or rough order magnitude estimates. Then build time and steps into the first part of your project launch to take the high level estimates down into detailed requirements before you begin execution of any deliverables. For external projects like this, the key is collaboration. I want you to see your sales team as an extension of the project team. Work to build strong relationships and great communication between your groups.
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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.