I received an interesting invitation from @Deltek_UK.
I replied that this deserved more than 140 characters on Twitter and I would write a blog about it. So here goes, the Rosenhead manifesto for counteracting scope creep:
1. Scope freeze – this is a simple process of having a rule; if you want to change the scope of a project then firstly approach the project manager. Explain the change you require and then call a meeting of key stakeholders. This should include the sponsor and steering committee, if you have one. Put your case to them. If they agree, then the change is made, if not, abandoned. However, try and get a group into a room on the same day….
2. Follow the recent PMI advice of going back to basics. I quote from report, Capturing the Value of Project Management that organisations “need go back to basics.” The detail of the report is too long to capture in total however there are 2 elements below which would make a significant contribution to preventing scope creep:
• having actively engaged executive sponsors
• using standardised project management practices throughout the organisation
Both, in my view would make a difference alongside many of the other suggestions. Do read the report from PMI.
3. My next point links to the first bullet point. As co-write of Strategies for Project Sponsorship I feel it a must to point out that sponsors are, in the main, not trained. I have just come back from a trip abroad where I worked with a group of professional scientist. To a person, they all complained that the sponsor kept changing the scope. The week before, I was with a group and the same thing. Training of sponsors can make a big impact on this area. If you do not train your sponsors, you are inviting risk upon risk into the project
4. Project managers should keep a log of all changes to the project (note, not all changes are negative). This should be presented to the sponsor or steering group showing the number of changes and the impact
5. This is a difficult one but learn how to say no. Project management has some tools that can help:
• the business case and charter
• the risk log
• stakeholder management process
• the project plan
• the iron triangle
All of these (and more) can be used to help say no to someone who wants to impose a change on the project.
6. For project managers; learn how to develop your interpersonal skills; in other words know your strengths and weaknesses and build on the former and develop the latter. A good dose of assertiveness can go a long way.
7. Have an agreed change control process. This may be an oversimplification however, if there is a process in place then it can help protect the scope of the project alongside reducing project risks
Well, that is the Rosenhead manifesto for how to counteract scope creep. Thank you Deltek for the invitation.
My query dear reader is what are your suggestions?