Scope creep is one of the most dreaded pitfalls of project management. It can turn any project into a late, expensive, and unhappy situation for all parties. So it’s important to communicate and draw the line when you need to. I experienced successful scope management on a recent project – we caught risks early, planned on some changes, and made decisions to nix other changes. We are on track, on budget, and on time so far! Here are some lessons I’ve learned from this successful management of scope, in a three part series!
The first part of project planning is the analysis of business needs. Early on in the project, ideas are flowing. “What about this?” “Wouldn’t that be cool?” “Oh, can we do this?” The excitement is there about a world of possibilities. This excitement is key!
- Is everyone excited, or just you? Excitement is contagious and so if it’s just the management team or the younger crowd that’s excited, let them talk about it! Share it around so that you can’t hear the Debbie Downer or Derrick Doubter anymore. You need to get as many people as possible on-board and enthused early on for the best results later on.
- Excitement has momentum and the peak of it is typically at the beginning. Before all of the decisions and change, it is just the familiar coming . It’s like Santa Claus and little kids; better be good for goodness sake! You can’t let that wonderment die before Christmas arrives. You need to keep reminding them of all the surprises that will make their lives easier with the new software.
- And lately, it makes your job more fun! It will keep you motivated and working hard if your client is excited about coming to the status calls to hear how things are going. If you can keep the “What’s new?” attitude going, you will face smiles at every meeting. And let me tell you, that pays off. We all want to love our jobs, right?