Reducing Scope Creep

The Scope Creep


According to wwww.projectscopecreep.com, “Project Scope creep is also known as focus creep, feature creep, function creep, and requirement creep. Project scope creep in project management refers to uncontrolled changes or added objectives in a project’s scope. This phenomenon can occur when the scope of a project is not properly documented, defined, or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence, and thus, should be avoided” (“Project scope creep,” 2014).

While I do not have formal experience as an ID or PM, I can provide a scenario. We are currently planning our 30th High School Class Reunion. Of course, we are scattered all over the place. However, with Facebook as a tool, it has made “finding” some people much easier. There are the few who refuse to go on FB so we have to find them the old fashioned way through detective work, phone calls, emails, calls to their parents. One who has been “missing” for a long time was found by a couple of us working together. We were so excited to find him and look forward to finally seeing him again!

So far, the biggest hurdle is nailing down a date. Many people have children or are just starting their families. Trying to work around 250 +/- family schedules is quite difficult. While we thought we had a date in the Fall, it turns out that it will now be late Summer.

Another issue was the venue. They had it nailed down but then budgets are tight and this would have been a doozy to fit into anyone’s budget since the economy has not been good for many people these last couple of years.

So to recap, we have changed the dates and the venue, so far. Now there are a lot of folks who would rather have it at another time. Personally, I think it would be grand to have two smaller reunions and if one can go to both, all the more fun! However, there will be no way of pleasing everyone. It’s not for a lack of trying as evidenced by the two major changes already.

The stakeholders in this case are the alumni and the Reunion Team. Although folks want to have a reunion, not many want to step up to the plate and actually do any of the work, for whatever reasons. The Team has done a great job trying to accommodate as many folks as possible. Getting a 100% turnout will not be possible. Since the dates have changed, the rates for hotels and gas may be cheaper. The dinner was changed to a venue with cash bar, dinner and pay as you go. Everyone is responsible for their own meal and drinks instead of the traditional “sit down” and all is included except for drinks.

Scope creep in this case, came in the very beginning. The Team made good use of their time and brainstorming sessions and came up with a venue, food, and drinks, that was a doable model for most folks attending. The Team did a great job of managing the scope creep, or function creep, and getting it in check ASAP.

The one constant in life is change. It is in how one manages the change that makes the difference. According to Portny (2014), “Avoiding scope creep is not possible. However, monitoring and controlling it, reduces some of the pain”.

References

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Project scope creep. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.projectscopecreep.com

Week 5 Estimating Costs and Allocating Resources

Jim teases Spock about giving an estimate


The task “for this assignment, was to conduct a web search (listservs, message boards, blogs) and locate at least two resources that would be useful in estimating the costs, effort, and/or activity durations associated with ID projects” (Walden, 2014).

The first resource I found is located at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/costs.html. Big Dog and Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition by Don Clark (2014) states: “Budgeting training is often a difficult chore as plans are often based on training an “average person.” But, as we soon learn, although there are many models and statistics of an average person to be found in various literatures, there are actually no average people to be found! We are all unique in some form or manner. This makes any activity that must place a variable on people highly uncertain and inaccurate at times.

Although the budget may not be correct the first time, especially if the training is new or complicated, it still should be performed at this time to give the training staff a goal to aim for. The budget or the program can be adjusted when more information has been obtained. After all, this is what the ISD model is all about, performing evaluations throughout the various phases and then using the feedback to adjust the program for the desired results”.

He goes on to quote, ” After performing the initial budget, it might seem that the training program will be quite expensive, but as Gary Wilber, CEO of Drug Emporium, Inc. said, “The expense isn’t what it costs to train employees. Its what it costs not to train them. You realize that as you grow.” –

I like how the site is laid out, is explained, and has links to outside resources. I think the neatest tool it has is the Excel Spreadsheet Cost Estimator. All you have to do is plug in your numbers and it calculates for you.

The second resource I found is located at: http://www.planningpoker.com/. It is an estimating tool and it is FREE. According to the site, “Planning Poker works because it lets the people who are actually going to be completing the work do the estimating. Estimates derived from Planning Poker are more accurate because of the emphasis on lively discussion and the fact that estimators are called upon by their peers to justify their estimates — factors proven to increase accuracy. Finally, Planning Poker provides a true average of individual estimates, which has been shows to lead to better results.” I think this is a great way to make sure that they people who need to do the estimating can come together in the same “space” at the same time and actually get things worked out. It does have a limit. It says it is “usually best if this number does not exceed ten people.” Work groups can be divided up if there are more than ten people on a team. I would think that this would also help people feel more inclined to open up about what they really need for their part of the project.

I think both of these site have good information and tools to use. It depends on what I might need, but I think I will be referring back to both of these sites in the near future.

Enter data here . . .