Saturday, January 03, 2015

Scope Creep

Why Projects Really Fail
Unless it is an agile project (where the objectives are expected to change), scope creep or slow death by a thousand change requests will grind any project into the dust. Wise project managers recognise when this is starting to happen and blow a very loud whistle. 

It comes down to a simple binary choice. Freeze the scope and implement the project as is and see if there is sufficient business justification for a follow on project to implement the additional requirements; or cancel the project and consider starting it again once the objectives can be agreed. Failure to do this is poor project management, the changing objectives merely a symptom of this.

The Projects
Effective Project Management on-line training course (for Classle): I'm starting to get the hang of things now (particularly Audacity for recording the audio) and I am now onto Module 4 (Planning). Great fun.

Agile Project Management in easy steps: I'm doing this revised version jointly with David Morris and I'm currently waiting for David let me have the next batch of updates now he is back in New Zealand.

Meanwhile have a happy and successful New Year.


Dave Gordon said...

John, I would suggest that Agile methods do not help when the objectives are fuzzy. Requirements? Certainly! Technical approach? probably. User experience? Naturally. But unless the objective is clear, there is no way to determine whether you are making progress. Velocity is a vector - absent a direction, we are simply expending energy on speed.

bug said...

Your Fuzzy Objectives and this one on Scope Creep had me nodding my head. Good posts.

I'm new to your blog, so this may be a dumb question, but have you done a post on the difference between Agile and Traditional in terms of what types of projects each one is best suited to. I consider myself a pretty experienced traditional PM, but am new/struggling-with Agile a bit.

P M Blogger said...

Thanks for you comments Dave & Bug. You're spot on Dave and I stand corrected: scope creep is not related to fuzzy objectives - I will correct the post (that's a first :o)

Bug - I've written a book on it called Agile Project Management in easy steps (just working on the next release at the moment) it's aimed at people exactly like you. Send me your email address (I won't publish it) and I'll send you an extract on that topic.

(a.k.a. PMBlogger)