"Project scope keeps expanding, pushing out the expected completion date."
Interpretation. A project manager might make this statement out of fear that delivering this bad news will reflect badly on his abilities. He may also be frustrated with his inability to control the scope creep. A manager may make this statement out of frustration because he has just learned that a project will slip and there was no forewarning. Both will perceive the project as out of control. The manager may intend to micromanage in an attempt to regain control. The project manager may be planning to disassociate himself from an "unsuccessful" project. Recriminations and project failure are just around the corner.
Solution. Remove the stigma associated with project redefinition. Scope creep is fine as long as it delivers business benefit and is transparently reconciled with competing resource requirements in the organization. Ensure that unnecessary scope creep does not occur by applying the 80/20 rule within a centralized, authoritative decisionmaking body. Operate on the premise that meeting truly important deliverables and getting projects done, rather than continually delaying delivery to achieve a product that is "more perfect," is the best way to obtain resources for other projects.
Benefit. Project staff will know that project redefinition will be discussed in a rational manner and a timely fashion, and without recrimination. This will encourage openness and commitment to objectives and support the identification of solutions to project issues that benefit the evolved needs of the business.
• Discuss current project status at all governance council meetings.
• The oversight governing body should monitor and question if scope changes are necessary, knowing that subsequent delays can affect resource allocation to other projects.
• Consider all factors when evaluating the possibility of scope creep.
• Consistently apply the PPM process to new work as you would to a new project.
• Know when something is good enough.
• Communicate policy on project redefinition and encourage staff to raise issues when they become known.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.