Scope risks push projects towards failure. There can be two reasons—you lack knowledge about the scope or you do not know how to identify risks. This could land your project in serious trouble. In this article at Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall discusses 8 ways you can identify scope risks in your project.
What Are Scope Risks and How to Identify Them
Events and conditions that can create a significant positive or negative impact on the project outcome are scope risks. The following are some examples.
- You have added features that were never a part of the plan.
- The team failed to figure out all the deliverables, so went back and included the changes.
- The scope change was not recognized during the change control process.
- You have not done an in-depth analysis of client requirements.
- You have not scheduled the work requirements based on priority.
- There is no way to track if you have incorporated the requirements in the design, development, or testing processes.
- Your team has not tracked down all the activities needed for the deliverables.
Tools and Techniques
All you need are some tools and methods to understand where you might face scope risks.
- Be Choosy: Have one-on-one sessions with stakeholders before you start working with them. Center your questions about deliverables, expectations, assumptions, prohibitions, etc. Finally, note down your insights from the meeting.
- Discuss with Team: Have a list ready before discussing in the team meeting. You can ask around about possible scope risks the team might have during product delivery. You can also throw more specific questions in terms of client requirements, developing, QA, training, and execution.
- Create a Risk List: There might be some risks that are common in every project. Select the scope risks that are relevant or find them out in the post-review meetings. However, no list has all the risks.
- Find Out the Project Assumptions: Ask the stakeholders what they think would limit the project scope. Note down these assumptions and find out the scope risks that could crop up because of those.
- Identify the Root Causes: Cause and Effect diagrams are a great way to find out scope risks. Be addressing the cause of the risks, you will lower the possibility of project failure.
- Mitigate Risks through Group Discussion: Nominal Group Technique (NGT) allows everyone to share their two cents with the entire team. Collect all the viewpoints and then identify the scope risks that could impact project significantly.
- Know the Obvious Risks: Affinity diagram is a fun technique that you can use to find out about scope risks. Let everyone write down the possible risks and then categorize them.
- Work Breakdown Structure: One of the best ways to identify risks is asking your teammates about the risks related to their assignments.
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