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Wednesday, 12 August 2020
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Project Management 101- Scope  E-mail

Project Management 101- Scope

Project Management is broken down into four basic elements of a project: money, resources time, and the most important element, scope. All four of these elements are affected by one another and each of them must be managed efficiently and successfully for the project, and consequently the Project Manager, to be a success.

Here are your four basic elements:

* Money:
Expenses, profits, losses, margins

Employees, Consultants, Sub Contractors, equipment, material

Tasks, critical tasks, task timelines

Goals, Size, Requirements, Codes

Let’s talk a bit about the last element, the one I consider most important, scope.

The expansion of a project outside of the planned objectives, commonly known as scope creep, is an inherent part of IT projects, well for any project for that matter. Scope creep can originate from multiple sources, usually management, when they say, “Can you also make it do this or that? And is a leading cause of project failure when handled poorly. You must take measures to control project scope and to make sure that the project, you and your team do not come in over budget and weeks, months and years past the deadline.

Example: A client wants to open a new office and hires a company to wire the building install 5 computers and 1 black and white laser printer. A proposal is given for the wiring, 5 new machines, 1 new printer, 1 8 port router and configuration of all hardware. The client agrees and schedules the work. Here is how the scope “creeps”:

Scope Creep = Frustration

·During the project it is asked if the owner will be able to connect wirelessly when he is in the building. The answer is of course “No there is no wireless router or access point.” The owner signs a change order.

·How will the employees access the group drive in the main office? Now some form of VPN is required along with its configuration on both ends. The owner signs a change order.

·Where can we print color? The company requires all proposals are sent with their color letterhead. The owner signs a change order.

Each one of these examples of not staying in the scope affects all the other elements. The project is now over budget and didn’t come in on time. This falls directly on the project managers shoulders. He or she didn’t do their due diligence in defining the scope. They didn’t look into the business process to define the needs of the client. That is why a professional project manager was hired because the company doesn’t do this for a living, the project manager does.

I am not saying changes shouldn’t happen. Changes to a project are inevitable; that the fact changes will happen should be discussed before the project starts and the project plan should include some time and money for this. Changes in themselves can be minor but as a whole they can add up fast. Make sure each change is approved and documented as to its effect on the project.

More to follow…

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