5 Tips for managing scope

It is a very common situation that requirements are changing quite often half way through the project. Such situation puts a lot of pressure on budget and delivery dates. As a result project team is also being put under pressure. Before trying to think of how to deal with this situation, let’s think of what are the reasons of changing the requirements.

Quite obvious answer comes to a head first – project scope is fixed for a period of time, yet customer’s business is constantly changing. And the longer our project is, the more likely it is that customer will change the requirements!

Set it in concrete
Define a complete set of deliverables that you need to produce for your customer in depth. This will help to define the scope of the project in depth.

Plan it out
Not just write all the activities which need to be implemented. Instead, all activities should be grouped in project plan under the relevant deliverables. This will help you to track which activities are related to specific deliverables.

Monitor quality
It is important to complete all the deliverables in the project plan. And it is very important that these deliverables meet your customer expectations.

Manage changes
Every time customer changes their requirements, make sure that their change request is documented. After this action impact of the change request on project’s deliverables must be reviewed. And depending on the impact make a decision: sign off the change, hound customer for more money, time, people or anything you need to implement the change.

Report everything
Report on any changes that have happened and their effect on the project. This will ensure that if you pass your project deadline, you can show that it was the change requests that caused it. Customer will be more understanding (as they probably requested the changes in the first place) and your team won’t go into “crises mode” as most teams do when they are officially ‘late’.