2 Reasons Why The Scope Of A Project May Need To Be Changed

Paul Naybour

Explain 2 reasons why the scope of a project may need to be changed

1.    The scope of a project may need to be changed as a result of revised or new legislation. This would affect how the deliverables need to be produced.  For example, the H&S regulations around elevators coming into effect next year.  Changing the scope at the earliest stage to match the new laws will not have such an impact as leaving it until later in the project.  This change in scope will benefit the users as it will mean they do not have to do the changes either later in the project, which will have more of a cost impact or after the project has been completed.  Scope change will need to go through the formal change process and the sponsor will need to approve the change/s.  It will need to be captured through the configuration management process otherwise incorrect documents will be used by members of the project team. For example, the size of the elevator is to be increased to allow for new style wheelchairs this will affect the builders who are building the walls into which the elevator is place.   

2.    It may be a requirement to amend the scope of a project if the project is overrunning.  This could be due to unforeseen circumstances, for example the flash floods in Cumbria this year or, the contractor is delayed on his work, for example the digger for the foundations is delivered a week later, breaks down and there is no other available digger for a couple of weeks causing a few weeks delay.   In order to complete the project on time there would be a need to de-scope the work on the project.  The Project Manager would assess the needs and this would be submitted for approval by the sponsor through the formal change process.  As above, it would need to be captured via the configuration management process to ensure all designs, specifications, drawings and costings are updated.  
Explain three ways that change control can reduce and manage scope creep on a project

1.    The existence of a change control process will reduce the number of changes requested.  The change control process is created and agreed in the definition stage of the project by the PM and is part of the PMP.  This process is seen as lengthy and bureaucratic requiring a business justification for approval.  This process can help reduce the number of change requests submitted.  
2.    Towards the end of the development phase and after many change requests have been submitted a change freeze could be installed to ensure no further changes are made impacting on time, cost, quality and benefits and will reduce and manage scope creep.  The project sponsor will implement the change freeze ensuring that no further delays to the project are incurred.  
3.    A formal change process will reduce and manage scope creep on a project and ensures proper record keeping and easy location of information and that there is a defined baseline clearly stating project time, cost and quality parameters.  Without these two aspects, conflict and confusion could generate between the project team, sponsor and stakeholders and this could lead to a demotivated team resulting in more time delays and resource issues.  

1 thought on “2 Reasons Why The Scope Of A Project May Need To Be Changed”

  1. Very good, I do wonder if you could write this in 15 minutes. The first two paragraphs may be too detailed.

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