Scope creep. No, it isn’t that strange guy in the cube next to you with mouthwash breath. Although he may invade your personal space, scope creep can destroy your chances of project success. Some times it is stuff that isn’t even related to your project.
Here are some classic examples of the impact it can have on your project.
- A Project Manager told me about a problem she was having. Her management was asking her to create status reports for project that she was not involved in. She had to hold meetings and document information for four other projects. On average it probably stole 6 to 8 hours a week away from her real project.
- Picture a routine trip to the Architect Review Board to go over the final design for a new application will net the company a big profit. Your team is on schedule and has finished 50% of the development. The review board sends you back with a new direction based on updated development standards. The rework will push the project beyond its go live date.
- You are developing a front end to an image storage system. The idea is to be able to store, annotate and reuse pieces of animation for video games. The trouble is you have 3 different studios that are giving input to it. Each group has a “gotta-have-it” set of features. These features are killing any hope of meeting the deadline.
These scenarios make the medicine-breath guy in the cube next to you seem a little friendlier, eh? How do you deal with these situations? Over the next several days we’ll take a look at each of these situations and address the key aspects of Scope Management including the importance of defining your effort, involving your stakeholders and determining your target.