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Variations and Delays – Project Management Processes

Variations and Delays – Project Management Processes
By James Clements

I see a lot of discussions in the Project Management community about putting in place structured change processes and project management processes for claiming schedule delay or events of force majeure, but my experience is that in reality it is just not that simple and it takes experience in Project Management to navigate these politically charged waters.

Project success is very much predicated on the relationships within the project and especially the relationship between the project team, primarily the Project Manager and the client, and given that every change in scope, delay or increase in cost is potentially a source of conflict between these two parties, managing this change is so much more than a simple process to be followed.

What a lot of people fail to recognize is the pressure on a Project Manager to bring home the project on time, schedule and to the desired quality, to keep the client happy because of the promise of future projects, so it’s tough for the Project Manager that starts firing off claims for variations and delay, whether they are warranted or not. Read the Complete Article

How to Clearly Define the Scope of Your Project?

How to Clearly Define the Scope of Your Project?
By Bhavin Gandhi

Have you ever wondered about what exactly does the ‘scope of a project’ mean? I have… I kept on hearing this term from the time when I first started my career. Though I have learned its meaning over the years; people around me still describe the term vaguely. Thus, I am going to provide you with some simple tips, which can help you to clearly define the scope for your project.

  • The deliverables: Let’s say, you are one of those project managers whose projects are very complex, and you don’t know where exactly to start for defining the scope of your project. If you are not sure about how to move forward with this process then you should at least try to define the deliverables of the project. Don’t stress yourself too much. Ask your customers to provide you with tangible (I mean tangible) deliverables that they would like to see at the end of the project.
Read the Complete Article

What Is the Reason That Projects Fail?

What Is the Reason That Projects Fail?
By Jolyon Hallows

Stories of spectacular failures abound. A project that was budgeted at ten million dollars is finally killed when it passes a hundred million. A system that was due at the end of July is delivered at the end of September-two years later. Why do these and less extreme but equally frustrating failures haunt projects?

The most commonly cited culprit is bad estimating. It is the conventional wisdom that technical people cannot estimate the cost of lunch, even given a menu. But this is a myth. Of course, there are poor estimators, but even if the entire estimate were off by a hundred percent, the total cost would do no more than double. This is not desirable, but neither is it comparable to the celebrated overruns-the ones that we speak of in hushed tones, thankful that we were not involved.

In fact, most experienced people can estimate reasonably well, and, in the sweep of a large project, the optimism of some estimators usually balances the pessimism of others. Read the Complete Article

How to Avoid the Double-Edged Sword of Scope Creep

How to Avoid the Double-Edged Sword of Scope Creep
By Jennifer Brogee

I love the term scope creep because it so adequately describes what can be the downfall of any IT project – the never ending changing of specifications during the building process.

In the early days of working with clients, almost every project I worked on fell victim to scope creep. It’s so easy to do because IT folks and account managers want to please their clients, but scope creep is a double-edged sword – not only does it add non-billable hours of programming to an IT project, it also creates discontent on the client’s side. Ironically, clients are happier when specs are followed religiously and the end product is what was agreed upon at the earliest phase. Based on 12 years of experience, I can say that even though clients may ask to change specs in the middle of the project, they are more satisfied overall when you say, “sure, but that will cost you x.” Knowledge of the effort and costs required to make functionality or design happen results in happier programmers and customers. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Foundations – Managing the Creep

Project Management Foundations – Managing the Creep
By Steve Hart

I have discussed on several occasions that “scope creep” is not a term that I am particularly fond of. The PMBOK® refers to project scope creep as uncontrolled changes. I have heard project managers say on more than one occasion, “My project is suffering from scope creep”. In my mind that statement translates into, “I have been unable to control change on my project”. One of the key responsibilities of the project manager is to identify and control change – in other words “managing the creep” on your project.

Team members often talk about the amount of change on the project. Change is an inevitable component of managing a project – nothing works out exactly as planned. The project manager effectively manages change by maintaining the appropriate balance between control and discipline to manage to the baseline plan, and flexibility to adapt the plans to meet customer expectations. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Foundations – Managing Change

Project Management Foundations – Managing Change
By Steve Hart

In my experience as a project manager, I have found one of the most critical best practice areas during the project execution phase to be the ability to effectively manage change. Change is an inevitable component of managing a project – nothing works out exactly as planned. The project manager effectively manages change by maintaining the appropriate balance between control and discipline to manage to the baseline plan, and flexibility to adapt the plans to meet customer expectations. Nobody wants to be “that” project manager that leads a project that delivers on-time and under budget, but still has an unhappy customer. Below I describe in more detail the following aspects of managing change:

  • What defines a change in the context of your project
  • What are the sources of change
  • What are the early warning signs of change
  • Establishing a process to manage change
  • Measuring the cumulative impact of change

What Defines Change

By the end of the planning phase, the project baseline is established and approved by the project sponsor and project core team. Read the Complete Article

Managing Scope Creep in Project Management

Managing Scope Creep in Project Management
By Claudia Vandermilt

Project managers have been plagued by scope creep since the dawn of project management. Managing scope creep in project management is a challenging job that needs clearly defined, documented and controlled specifications. Scope creep – also known as feature creep, focus creep, creeping functionality and kitchen-sink syndrome – can sneak up, morph and destroy a project.

Project Scope Defined

What does “project scope” mean? Simply put, it is a project’s parameters. The project scope should be identified in a detailed description identifying and describing all major deliverables and any project boundaries. It needs to include sufficient information for the project team to produce the desired product on time and within budget. In general, the project scope is determined early in the process, documented and agreed upon by all project stakeholders.
How Does Scope Creep Happen?

Even when there’s a clearly defined project scope, you still have to beware of scope creep. Read the Complete Article

Ten Ways to Stop Scope Creep in Your Web Design Project

Ten Ways to Stop Scope Creep in Your Web Design Project
By Chris LeCompte

Let’s face it, web design is not a very predictable service. Sure, the extent of the service is to furnish a working web site (one would hope) along with any hosting and maintenance needed to keep it going. The issue is that the specifics of the project change with almost every client interaction.

Keep in mind this isn’t a problem. Web design must be a flexible and fluid service that changes to the varying needs of the client as well as the quick pace of the internet. What is a problem is scope creep.

Scope creep occurs when a client keeps piling on requests for additions or changes to their project that are outside the scope of the project. Some clients are mindful of this and will explicitly ask if it will cost more. Others, unfortunately, are not this considerate or knowledgeable enough to know when they’re pushing it. Read the Complete Article

Scope Management Does Not Mean Scope Stoppage

Scope Management Does Not Mean Scope Stoppage
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

I would like to address what seems to be a common misunderstanding regarding the term “scope creep.”

I read a recent question posted by a LinkedIn colleague titled “Why do so many project managers think scope management means scope oppression?” I like the question this post raises. I agree with the premise of her post, which is that we need to anticipate and expect change, and while it is our job as PMs to have a recommendation regarding the requested scope change, it is management who ultimately decides if the time and cost impact is worth taking to make the requested change to scope.

However, I disagree with one point made. This may be an issue of semantics, but I want to make sure we are all on the same page. The author says that “scope control has been described (incorrectly) by some PMs as ‘eliminate scope creep’.” Given the agreement from the responses she received, this seems to be a commonly misunderstood concept. Read the Complete Article

Scope Creep of a Different Kind

Scope Creep of a Different Kind
By Literal Thinking

Scope creep is often the bane of every project manager’s existence. High on project managers’ hate lists are the project sponsors, business process owners, and end users who seem to think that there is no time limit to the introduction of new requirements. This, while at the same time querying why the project takes so long to finish and costs so much to complete.

However, there are some project managers who not only tolerate, but sometimes even spearhead and encourage, scope creep. This typically happens when a project manager also wears the account management or business development hat. So while their project management side may want to complete the project on time, scope, and budget; their account management or business development side aims for more revenue and continuous work.

Take the case of Simon, who was enterprise applications manager of a large multinational firm. Read the Complete Article

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