Project Management

Scary Scope

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I still keep a copy of one of the first project charters that I ever wrote. I originally kept it because I was so proud of the job that I had done. To me it was an amazing document--my project management training was fresh in my mind, I had all of my PM books to hand when I wrote it and reviewed the document against every one of those books to make sure I incorporated all of the sage advice. I was convinced that I had written a masterpiece--no finer project charter had ever been written.
Now I keep it as a reminder of how easy it is to get it very wrong. For the most part, it’s a lesson in the danger of ignoring your brain when you write a project charter. This is real life, not a textbook. But there is one less obvious--but very big--mistake in that document: The list of out-of-scope items is longer than the list of in-scope items.
The perils of “out of scope”
We are all educated from the start of our PM careers to be clear about scope. Never should anything be assumed--everything should be clearly stated, because otherwise confusion reigns supreme. Let’s try a little exercise to help me demonstrate what’s wrong with that approach…
Before you read anymore of this article, think of any animal except a dog.
What breed of dog did you think of? A list of out-of-scope items is the same concept. By providing a…

Please log in or sign up below to read the rest of the article.


Continue reading...

Log In
Sign Up

"I know the meaning of life - it doesn't help me a bit."

- Howard Devoto