Discover how to manage scope and prevent scope creep.
- [Voiceover] Project scope, schedule, and cost are inextricably linked, but scope has a tendency to grow, as stakeholders ask you to add this or that. Problem is, they aren't so keen to increase the budget or lengthen the schedule to accommodate the new scope, which is why managing scope is critical to keeping your project on track. Scope creep, that tendency for scope to increase, is as nasty as it sounds.
Suppose someone catches you in the hall, asks you to add a feature to his project, and scurries off to a meeting. Guaranteed, he expects, or at least hopes, you'll add his request to the project, without adjusting the schedule or budget. If you do, that's scope creep. Scope can change for other reasons. For example, the scope might not have been clearly defined upfront. Suppose the customer assumes you're familiar with their industry, and doesn't think they have to tell you the whole story of what they need, while you're identifying requirements.
Or perhaps the customer doesn't know exactly what they want. The best way to prevent scope creep is to identify scope clearly during planning. But what can you do if planning is over and the scope is spreading like your Aunt Martha's waistline? First, reset unrealistic expectations. If the customer is asking for features that are clearly out of scope, refer to the scope statement and politely say no.
Or offer to discuss the schedule and budget changes needed to add to the project scope. Also, make sure the customer and your team understand that undocumented informal changes aren't acceptable. Reset their expectation, so that in the future, requests go through the change management process. If scope wasn't clearly defined in the first place, work with the customer to renegotiate the scope so it is clear.
If the customer doesn't really know what they want, consider switching to an iterative approach to the project. That way, you'll have several opportunities to obtain feedback from the customer and hone the scope over time. Managing scope is key to making projects successful. To learn more about this crucial skill, check out Terri Wagner's course: Preventing Scope Creep.
Bonnie Biafore has always been fascinated by how things work and how to make things work better. In this course, she explains the fundamentals of project management, from defining the problem, establishing project goals and objectives, and building a project plan to managing team resources, meeting deadlines, and closing the project. Along the way, she provides tips for reporting on project performance, keeping a project on track, and gaining customer acceptance.
- Defining the components of a project
- What it takes to be a project manager
- Using project management software like Microsoft Project
- Managing project scope, budget, and schedule
- Managing project resources, including people
- Managing project risk
- Initiating a project
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Identifying requirements and deliverables
- Developing a project plan
- Building a project schedule
- Assigning resources to tasks
- Understanding the critical path
- Running the project
- Managing teams
- Monitoring performance
- Closing a project
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting to Know Project Management
2. Exploring Project Management Knowledge Areas
3. First Things First
How to develop requirements4m 19s
4. Developing a Project Plan
5. Building a Project Schedule
6. While You Run the Project
7. Working with Teams
8. Monitoring and Controlling Progress and Performance
9. Closing a Project
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