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How to Attack the Enemies of Scope Management

The “enemies” of scope management are not literally people. They are not picketing beside your desk and yelling at you to add 20 more features. But that is the bad news—because if they really were people, they would be easier to purge. In a quick post for the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall describes the intangible enemies that impede scope management.

Target Acquired

One big way to let scope management fall apart is to not adequately include all of the required work in the project plan in the first place. Project managers must avoid this by having good conversations with stakeholders to weed out every requirement. Having a visual in the form of a work breakdown structure will also help.

Another enemy of scope management is gold plating, the act of adding extra features in a project that were not actually requested. This could happen for several reasons; the one Hall suggests is that maybe the project manager is just trying to look good to others. He continues to say this:

What’s the solution? Project managers should be gatekeepers, carefully monitoring deliverables, requirements, and associated activities. Conduct the inspection of requirements with the appropriate stakeholders. And use your change control process for when changes are necessary.

One more thing to watch out for in the pursuit of manageable scope is, well, success itself. More specifically, are the planned activities as defined in the project charter conducive to actually delivering on the business’s goals? Perhaps success criteria should be added to the charter.

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About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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