Identifying Scope Change

How do we know whether project scope change is really needed? What events, activities or other warning signs tell us project scope needs to be re-evaluated?

For me, it is quite intriguing to know that identify scope change is a little bit like identifying risk the only difference is that scope change creates a tradeoff between project requirement and objective. They affect the cost or schedule of the project but not necessarily affect the communication plan or level of risk.

Few signs that scope needs to change or re-evaluated are described as follows:

1.Stakeholder changing their mind: Stakeholder does change their mind frequently as the project progress. It is very necessary to jot down this change in the requirement in the early stage. Especially during requirement elicitation, it is necessary to have a good requirement collection plan.

2.Regulatory change: Regulatory change usually refers to change caused due to change in regulation, legal requirement, and legislation. It is necessary that project manager is politically aware of all the scenarios to cope with such change during the project.

3.Poorly defined/collection of requirement: This is pretty much self-explanatory having the wrong requirement or poorly set requirement can become an issue for scope change. Mostly caused due to the assumption made by the project manager and result in scope change by identifying the requirement from stakeholder’s perspective.

4.Change in business sponsorship: New sponsor tends to bring new ideas and have their own vision for the project this can be managed solely on project manager’s skill to negotiate.

5.Change in business strategy: This one of the reasons that cause major scope change. As organization changes, their strategic approach toward business. Generally, two things happen in this scenario-

5.1. Either Project is closed prematurely as project no longer support organizational strategic direction.

              5.2. Project Manager is asked to pivot the project objective to align with the organizational approach under which scope change can occur.

6.Updated/ Reconfiguration of technology: This is more like changing material resources. As technology advances, chances are that project is needed to be implemented/updated using this new technology.

7.Not enough resources: This mostly result in comprising the scope when resources are limited. Generally, result in the tradeoff between the constraint of the project.

8.Bugs and Defects (optional): It is usually referring to a failure in a specification of the project may result in changing the specific requirement of the project. And best way to manage that is using the traceability matrix.

“You know your project needs to change when any of the above-mentioned criteria is identified in the current state of the project. However, most of the scope change are manageable and can be controlled. But I would recommend to always look for signs mentioned. Always have a fine line that separate scope change from scope creeps.”

Let me know your views,

I am your friendly Project Manager!




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