Project Management: Managing Scope CreepAssociation of Business Training
February 10, 2014 — 1,343 views
Project managers are very well aware of the importance of delivering quality projects at the right time. You may have come up with the flowchart of working through the project, but chances of making changes to the project are always high. No project can be perfect from the very beginning, which means that you need to make changes to ensure that it delivers exactly what the client wants. However, if you keep on changing the project requirements chances are that you may just fall behind time and fail to deliver the project as per the deadline. These constant, uncontrolled changes in a project are known as project creep, which can impact the quality of the project.
Every project manager has the responsibility of ensuring that the project remains effective and is delivered on time. Of course, changes on a project need to be made every now and then. But as a project manager, you need to balance both the discipline and control factors. Your project should be flexible enough to make space for required changes, but then it should not get out of control either. Controlling scope creep is very essential and with a structured plan, you can scope creep at a minimum.
Identify your Goals
To begin with, you will need to have a good look at what the client wants and see if you can deliver it. Once you are sure of pulling it off, take a closer look at even the smallest requirements related to the project. Have a detailed discussion with the stakeholders of the project to know what exactly they are expecting from the project. Document all the requirements so that you don’t miss out on any. This way you will be able to come up with a better outline of the project and analyze the correct method of completing it. Once you are sure of the path your team needs to follow, there will be less scope for constant changes.
Set your Priorities
The next step would be to identify the priorities of the project. You will have to make sure that you do not compromise on these. Divide the project into categories and focus on the priorities from each section. This way it will get easier for your team to maintain the quality of the project and complete it on time too, thus reducing the chances of scope creep.
Come up with a Clear Schedule
Make complete use of your documented requirements to come up with the schedule. Project schedule explains how exactly the project will be delivered and how the requirements will be achieved. So take out some time in drafting a clear schedule of the project. Once you are done with it, share it with the client or project stakeholders so that the chances of scope creep are minimized.
Have a Discussion with your Project Team
Once the client gives you a green signal, talk to your project team in detail about the requirements and delivery schedule. Also if there are any changes to be made, explain them to the team and also tell them how these changes will affect the project.