Saturday, 18 June 2011

Scope creep - not our problem

Well wouldn't it be nice if we could say that! It's the bane of every project. But we can and do take measures to control changes/creep, don't we? It's always a good thing to remind ourselves of basic sound principles that will work in our favour and that's the point of this week's spotlight on recent insights into dealing with creep.

Just in case, scope creep means changes to a project that necessitate extra work often wanted for free. Ah! Yes! Remember what it means now? It's those projects where clients keep expanding what they want as they go along after a price has been established for a particular set of needs. There's a lovely admission of guilt from a client who realises they do this at I'm a self-inflicted scope-creeper! Arggh, on Bracket Project's web site, and the comments on this read reassuringly too.

Mind you, sometimes it isn't just the clients who get inspiration and want to change a few things. These ideas can come from your team and management too. Someone has to stand firm and focus all back on the objectives agreed. Is that person you? Often it is part of the project manager's role.

Patsy from Front - web strategy, design and technology studio - in Manning up your project crew defines the roles needed on a web design team recognising that someone has to stand firm on the scope creep issues. She defines the person as a Guardian. Perhaps that appeals to you more than the title Project Manager.

If you're sitting there wondering that it's all very well but how do we stop creep, How to identify and clarify a Project Scope, Dwight Dunkley 6th June 2011, gives strong sharp advice. Do scroll down to the Tips and Advice part of the page to get the most benefit.

Of course we address this a lot in our Chapter 3 Scoping the project in Managing Interactive Media - Project Management for Web and Digital Media, but we're always willing to listen and find a new perspective; anything that can help in one of the most crucial issues to affect our projects. Any more advice is very welcome.