How to Avoid Scope Creep 5/5
When inexperienced project managers start on their first few projects they usually underestimate the power of scope creep
to cause a project to fail. This is why knowing how to avoid scope creep is absolutely vital to a successful project
management career and trying to implement the following points should enable you to do just that.
5.1 Write an Accurate Project Scope Statement
Undoubtedly the best thing you can do is ensure the
Project Initiation Document
contains an accurate
Project Scope Statement
. This may seem
easy to do, but it is amazing how many project managers simply skim over this section without realising the problems
this will cause later on. In fact on most failing projects I am called in to turnaround, the Project Scope Statement
has been completed extremely poorly.
So get this statement right and fully approved by all Project Stakholders during project initiation and you are well on your
way to ensuring scope creep doesn't happen.
5.2 Ensure Accurate Project Requirements are Documented and Approved
Now this one is a bit trickier as you are dependent on your team of Business Analysts's to make this happen. However what you can do is
make sure all the project stakholders devote the time to reading and approving the requirements. In my experience this
is usually the vital piece in the equation as usually Business Analysts have a fairly clear idea what they are doing.
So concentrate on the Stakholders and let the Business Analysts get on with their job.
5.3 Strictly Enforce the Change Request Process
I've learned that no matter how much you insist the project has no contingency in terms of budget or timeframes, project
stakeholders will always try to scope creep. However by forcing everyone to fill in, what is often an extremely onerous
Change Request document, a significant portion of these will miraculously disappear. And for those which remain you simply
have to impact assess them and then present your findings to the Programme Steering Board. I find by following this process
I can get rid of 99% of scope creep, whilst keeping the Project Stakeholders happy.
How to Avoid Scope Creep - Tip
The number one tip is never forget what your project scope is. Everyone will continually try to get you to make seemingly
"small" scope changes, which you should resist. After all if you give into one person's request, you create a precedent and
before long a little change starts snowballing and voila you have lost control of the project and potentially your
project management career.
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