Voyage Without A Map – Dealing With ‘Scope Creep’



If you are a project manager, you may have had this experience:  The more people or departments that get involved in your project, the more risk that you’ll fall into ‘Scope Creep’


A couple of things that could cause the scope of a project to get out of hand are:

1) Unclear definition of the project. Trying to include every idea/opinion/problem in the project – too wide a focus, unclear definition of project. Lack of a clear Project Charter.

Each person has a different opinion. Back when I started a recent project several months ago, when I discussed making the project charter with my project team, so many statements of opinions and problems related to the larger range of the business came up. Following subsequent meetings, I revised our project charter a few times.

Thank God for my LSS Black Belt certification training which helped me, as the project leader, to focus on the primary purpose and scope of this project. Although our team completed the project charter, and were then at the very beginning of the project, I wondered what would have happened if we had started the project without the charter. Our team would’ve wandered around and wasted a lot of time.

2) Sudden direction changes by upper management.

Upper management also has an opinion that has a heavier weight. They may give you a sudden direction change. It’s important to let them know what you are doing ahead of time.

All of my team members were on the same page and the top management knew what we were going to do from the project charter. This helps to prevent sudden, unreasonable direction changes by management during a project, as long as you update them from time to time.

If they do make a lot of sudden changes and off-scope additions, You can request that they make another project team to handle the off-scope, so that you can keep the main project team focused in-scope.

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