Analyzing Scope Creep
Most people have a little fear when it comes to change, this can be positive or negative based on the reaction. I can reflect back to scope creep (now that I know what it is) to getting my students ready for state and national Skills USA competitions. Regardless of how well planned and organized you are, you cannot possible anticipate people and behavior. I had rosters planned, buses reserved, payments, uniforms, contest supplies, meal tickets, and permission forms. Good gosh, could there be anything else? Why yes, welcome to high school.
Scope Creep is known as “the natural tendency of the client, as well as project team members, to try to improve the project’s output as the project progresses” (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer, 2008, p. 350). My natural tendency is to include all the students. An impossible task. As each day passes, my student roster changes due to failing grades of the students. This causes everything to change, buses, payments, contestants, etc. My problem seems to be that I wanted more and more students to compete. I overburdened myself by adding more students.
Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer (2008), believe that with every project change there needs to be a change order that includes a description of the agreed upon change and any other changes to the plan, process, budget or schedule. For me this included email communication with skills usa, the bus depot, the lunch committee, and of course parents.
How to avoid or mange scope creep
Begin with a scope statement that spells out the project and is agreed upon by the students (maintain passing grades) and parents.
Payment penalty could work for this project in that parents want a deal and therefore would submit payment before the due date (no refund for failing grades) and encourage students to perform better in all classes or risk losing money.
Managing change is important in that it could be costly or could jeopardize the whole project. Using technology with this project simple project helped me manage, rearrange and delete students without causing disruption to the entire list that fed into and created other list. (Bus list fed to the lunch list and so on).
The best approach to manage scope creep is to set up a well-controlled, formal process whereby changes can be introduced and accomplished with as little distress as possible using a change control system (Portny 2008). A change control system is to do the following:
- Scope statement
- Communication and approval from stakeholders
- Use of technology to create small manageable sections
- Negotiate changes
Portny, S., Mantel, S., Meredith, J., Shafer, S., Sutton, M., & Kramer, B. (2008). Project Management: Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling Projects. Wiley & Sons Inc.