Monday, December 18, 2006

December 19, 2006 - Scope Creep Part 9

There are times when the change requested is able to be completed without altering the schedule or budget. It wasn’t part of the original scope, but is it necessary to create a Change Request for it? Yes.

Giving Gifts. The temptation to add to the scope of your project is hard to resist. Part of becoming a valued employee is going above and beyond to deliver more for less. Naturally you want your client to be pleased. But you should still follow the process.

Create a Change Request outlining what the cost would be. When it is presented you can “give” it to them. Show them that you are able to absorb the extra cost and time without impacting the project and you are doing it with no additional charge.

There are 3 benefits to doing this.

1. It continues the Change Management Process. The change still needs to be reviewed and approved to ensure it is necessary and wanted. Simply adding things to the scope may muddy the final product.

2. People understand that changes have impact. Don’t be tempted to take on additional items at the beginning of the project without following the process because the project is ahead of schedule and budget. If you do you are setting an expectation that they can add anything they want at any time. Later on in the project when the budget and schedule get tight they are going to ask for something and you will have to say no. It’s probably a bad analogy but it would be like letting your puppy jump up on your couch until she is a year old and then trying to stop her. You’ll get those big puppy dog eyes looking at you and cave in. Both your budget and couch end up trashed.

3. You get credit for it. If you simply add the scope it appears to have had no value or was originally part of the project. A gift of no value or, worse, one that isn’t perceived as a gift is never appreciated. You can build a partnership based on the added value.

With Christmas fast approaching an entry on giving gifts is probably a great one to stop on. I will be on vacation until January 2 and may not get a chance to write until then.
Have a Merry Christmas.

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