About The Author
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Saurabh Garg 1 article
Residence: GB London
Result Oriented Delivery Manager/Scrum Master
CSM, MSP, PMP, PRINCE 2, AWS Business and Technical Professional, ITIL v3
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CSM(Certified Scrum Master), MSP(Managing Successful Programmes) foundation, PMP, PRINCE 2, AWS Business and Technical Professional & ITIL v3 Certified with 20+ years of experience in Program management, End to end Delivery/Project management, Business Transformation, System Integration of IT programs/projects(Waterfall/Agile/SAFe), Client management, Contract Management, Vendor/Stakeholder Management, Budget Handling & Cost Reduction of software and internet based applications
 
Specialties: Telecom (MVNO/OSS/BSS/Mobile/Mobile App/transformation/Telephony/Unified Communications/ICT/Customer Experience), BFS (Banking and Financial Services), Life Sciences & Healthcare(Pharma), Mutual Funds, Retail, M2M, Artificial Intelligence, Infrastructure, Decommissioning, AWS Cloud Virtualization(IaaS/PaaS/SaaS), IoT(M2M), Automation and Contract/Procurement

Clients Worked – Ericsson, MBNL, EE, Telefonica, BT, Vodafone, IVO Bank, Military Bank, GSK, TalkTalk, CPW, Telecom NZ, CISCO, NRI, Nikko, Clifford Bank, ORACLE  


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Uncontrolled Scope

Scope is best managed and controlled while submitting Statement of Wok and System Requirement Specification phase. Then further down the line to be tracked through requirement traceability matrix in various phases of the project.

Scope Creep

Scope Creep (also known as “requirement creep”) refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project scope, at any point after the project begins over the period of project life cycle.

Scope creep is the process by which a project grows beyond its originally anticipated size. Scope creep is bound to happen if scope is not documented, defined and signed off in requirement phase. Scope creep can be prevented/controlled by Show & Tell (continuous collaboration) with customer, agile methodology and requirement traceability matrix (RTM). Based on my IT experience I have defined reasons, impact and control parameters of Scope Creep.

Reason

  • Lack of formal scope planning
  • Undefined scope definition
  • Scope not documented
  • No formal process for collecting requirement
  • No control or change management followed
  • Lack of clarity and depth of original specification document
  • No proper communication channels in project
  • Customer trying to get extra work for cheap
  • Doing design and development before proper requirement analysis
  • Length of project and stringent project timeline
  • Lack of sponsorship and stakeholder involvement
  • Saying yes to all client demands

 Impact

  • Quality of project/delivery drops
  • Project/delivery staff becomes demotivated
  • The trust between client and team can erode and communication becomes difficult
  • Operation team become strained
  • Loss to project and company

Control/Prevent

  • Define and document all requirements
  • Break down project requirements
  • Preparation of detailed SoW (Statement of Works) with all in-scope, out of scope, exclusions and assumptions etc
  • Do schedule planning for project
  • Monitoring the project status and baseline scope
  • Change control in place
  • Verification from client on all details
  • Keep team motivation at higher level
  • Don’t afraid to say no to client for unreasonable demand
  • Update scope statement/document for all approved change requests that affect the project’s overall scope and cost baseline
  • Maintain RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix)
  • Earlier feedback (Show & Tell) and collaboration with customer
  • Agile development process using sprint cycles
  • Avoid gold plating

 Gold Plating

Gold Plating in Project Management means giving the customer extra or more than the actual requirement. Gold Plating is unethical and not allowed as per the Project Management Code of Conduct. Gold plating is considered a negative concept. It often leads to extra, undocumented work that is beyond the current scope of the project and can adversely affect both the budget and timeline for the project.

Gold Plating can be controlled with signed off detailed Statement of Work, enforcing not to add any additional functionality, maintaining Requirement Traceability Matrix, continuous customer collaboration and agile methodology. Based on my IT experience I have defined reasons, impact and control parameters of Gold Plating.

Reason

  • Some team members think it’s cool to add this functionality to the product
  • Some team members think certain functionality is pre-requisite to another one
  • PM wants to be in limelight of customer for his own benefit
  • Team member wants to prove his ability to PM/customer

Impact

  • Increase in the cost of project
  • Scope Inflation
  • Setting customer expectation very high for future
  • Increasing risk and prone to errors
  • Customer backlash resulting in increase in timeline/cost
  • Stressed team members
  • Loss to company

Control/Prevent

  • Thorough understanding of requirements
  • Sign off detailed SoW (Statement of Work) with all in-scope, out of scope, exclusions and assumptions etc
  • PM to enforce policy for not adding any additional functionality that is outside of project original scope
  • Maintain RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix)
  • Punishment for gold-platers
  • If PM is behind gold plating, stakeholders should interfere
  • Scheduling project with most likely estimates so that little room for gold plating
  • Earlier feedback (Show & Tell) and collaboration with customer
  • Agile development process using sprint cycles
  • Saying yes to all client demands

Most of the above techniques have been followed by me in one or other project to avoid scope creep and gold plating. Apart from that keep the customer informed on project requirements along with continuous collaboration is the key to avoid scope creep and gold plating.


Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Saurabh Garg