Scope of the project or exactly what is to be achieved at the end of the project is a crucial requirement in defining a project. Typically, feature list is used to describe the scope of a product development project and for service delivery; the scope of services must be understood clearly, unambiguously., In addition other important parameters like governance setup, service and product performance measures should also be clearly documented,

A documented scope can set the basis for all future discussions and negotiations. The scope definition ensures that all the stakeholders have a common understanding of customer expectations, what is promised to be delivered, at what quality levels and at what time and cost. As far as the project execution is concerned, this document is the starting point of the project plan. You derive the work breakdown, time estimates, cost estimated, dependencies and hence the overall time budget. The plan in turn tells you which is the critical path and to monitored closely as such.

Despite attempts to write down the scope in stone, in the real life changes to happen. These may be due to changes beyond anybody’s control. Marketing realities can change over the project period forcing changes in the product feature list. Technological changes can happen that changes the development plan. These are just couple of examples that forces changes.

Scope Creep

Over the lifetime of a project, particularly if it involves a long timeline, scope change do occur. As a project progresses, a lot of issues become clearer and users as well as the executors of the project may realize that change is necessary. Many a times we venture into new territory that no one in the project team had any experience about. Thus full scope of some activities may not have been realized. You may realize more work needs to be done. Same is true of the user perspective too and he may want changes to be made. This may be a small change from their perspective, but quite often mean re-working of the estimate. The very first problem with such requirement/scope creep on you is that you may have to get more work done in the same given calendar time.

If the customer is not ready to extend the delivery time or any cost escalation, you need to absorb the cost of the additional resources that is required. You must have processes set up to manage these changes. These need to cover processes to record the details of conversations/communications asking for changes. Processes to re-estimate and communicating to the customer the effects of the changes, making the changes, updating the project plan etc. Since this can keep happening, you need your internal criteria at what time to ask for a revision of product scope and execution time. While some amount of creep may need to be absorbed for the sake of retaining your preferred customer, the additional work can cause huge amounts of stress on the team members as well as the cost and profit margins as well.

Scope of the project or exactly what is to be achieved at the end of the project is a crucial requirement in defining a project. Typically, feature list is used to describe the scope of a product development project and for service delivery; the scope of services must be understood clearly, unambiguously., In addition other important parameters like governance setup, service and product performance measures should also be clearly documented,

A documented scope can set the basis for all future discussions and negotiations. The scope definition ensures that all the stakeholders have a common understanding of customer expectations, what is promised to be delivered, at what quality levels and at what time and cost. As far as the project execution is concerned, this document is the starting point of the project plan. You derive the work breakdown, time estimates, cost estimated, dependencies and hence the overall time budget. The plan in turn tells you which is the critical path and to monitored closely as such.

Despite attempts to write down the scope in stone, in the real life changes to happen. These may be due to changes beyond anybody’s control. Marketing realities can change over the project period forcing changes in the product feature list. Technological changes can happen that changes the development plan. These are just couple of examples that forces changes.

Scope Creep

Over the lifetime of a project, particularly if it involves a long timeline, scope change do occur. As a project progresses, a lot of issues become clearer and users as well as the executors of the project may realize that change is necessary. Many a times we venture into new territory that no one in the project team had any experience about. Thus full scope of some activities may not have been realized. You may realize more work needs to be done. Same is true of the user perspective too and he may want changes to be made. This may be a small change from their perspective, but quite often mean re-working of the estimate. The very first problem with such requirement/scope creep on you is that you may have to get more work done in the same given calendar time.

If the customer is not ready to extend the delivery time or any cost escalation, you need to absorb the cost of the additional resources that is required. You must have processes set up to manage these changes. These need to cover processes to record the details of conversations/communications asking for changes. Processes to re-estimate and communicating to the customer the effects of the changes, making the changes, updating the project plan etc. Since this can keep happening, you need your internal criteria at what time to ask for a revision of product scope and execution time. While some amount of creep may need to be absorbed for the sake of retaining your preferred customer, the additional work can cause huge amounts of stress on the team members as well as the cost and profit margins as well.

What’s on Your Plate

August 5, 2009
By

Scope of the project or exactly what is to be achieved at the end of the project is a crucial requirement in defining a project. Typically, feature list is used to describe the scope of a product development project and for service delivery; the scope of services must be understood clearly, unambiguously., In addition other important parameters like governance setup, service and product performance measures should also be clearly documented,

A documented scope can set the basis for all future discussions and negotiations. The scope definition ensures that all the stakeholders have a common understanding of customer expectations, what is promised to be delivered, at what quality levels and at what time and cost. As far as the project execution is concerned, this document is the starting point of the project plan. You derive the work breakdown, time estimates, cost estimated, dependencies and hence the overall time budget. The plan in turn tells you which is the critical path and to monitored closely as such.

Despite attempts to write down the scope in stone, in the real life changes to happen. These may be due to changes beyond anybody’s control. Marketing realities can change over the project period forcing changes in the product feature list. Technological changes can happen that changes the development plan. These are just couple of examples that forces changes.

Scope Creep

Over the lifetime of a project, particularly if it involves a long timeline, scope change do occur. As a project progresses, a lot of issues become clearer and users as well as the executors of the project may realize that change is necessary. Many a times we venture into new territory that no one in the project team had any experience about. Thus full scope of some activities may not have been realized. You may realize more work needs to be done. Same is true of the user perspective too and he may want changes to be made. This may be a small change from their perspective, but quite often mean re-working of the estimate. The very first problem with such requirement/scope creep on you is that you may have to get more work done in the same given calendar time.

If the customer is not ready to extend the delivery time or any cost escalation, you need to absorb the cost of the additional resources that is required. You must have processes set up to manage these changes. These need to cover processes to record the details of conversations/communications asking for changes. Processes to re-estimate and communicating to the customer the effects of the changes, making the changes, updating the project plan etc. Since this can keep happening, you need your internal criteria at what time to ask for a revision of product scope and execution time. While some amount of creep may need to be absorbed for the sake of retaining your preferred customer, the additional work can cause huge amounts of stress on the team members as well as the cost and profit margins as well.

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